Trouble is again brewing for wireless internet provider LightSquared. Government reports show the provider of 4G LTE spectrum services disrupt up to 75% of all GPS services including cellphones, boats and planes. In light of recent controversies surrounding the company and its systems, the government is withholding approval for the powerful wireless carrier. LightSquared counts Sprint and Best Buy among its partners, but there are more opponents than fans of the system.
According to Bloomberg News, “The laboratory testing was performed for the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Systems Engineering Forum, an executive branch body that helps advise policy makers on issues around GPS. It found that 69 of 92, or 75 percent, of receivers tested “experienced harmful interference” at the equivalent of 100 meters (109 yards) from a LightSquared base station.”
Many Agencies participated in the testing including the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration. In addition to participating governmental agencies Industry was represented by GPS makers Trimble Navigation Ltd. and Garmin Ltd., farm-gear maker Deere & Co., and General Motor Co.’s OnStar unit, according to the summary.
LightSquared in no stranger to controversy, as their CEO is a major contributor to Barak Obama’s presidential bids and questions have arisen about how those contributions may have influenced the government to approve the system. There have been further allegations that General William Shelton, who was asked to testify before congress about his views on the systems problems admitted that he was pressured by the government to change his testimony and give the system a much cleaner bill of health.
You Decide, does LightSquared deserve the opportunity to have their wireless system approved?