LightSquared demands investigation into lower-band test leaks

LightSquared is demanding an investigation to determine the source of possibly leaked data from recently completed Global Positioning System (GPS) interference tests conducted by the U.S. government that evidently contradict more favorable test results recently touted by the company, reports Aviation Week.

The company has rights to two 10-MHz swaths on the Mobile Satellite Service band, where it was conditionally granted permission to operate a 4G wireless broadband network based on as many as 40,000 high-powered, ground-based transmitters, raising concern about overload jamming of GPS receivers.

Earlier tests this year, which focused on the so-called upper band, 1545-1555 MHz, located near the 1559-1610-MHz GPS band, indicated possibly catastrophic interference to virtually all classes of consumer, military and precision agricultural GPS receivers. A preliminary report of a second round of testing, which Bloomberg News reported on Dec. 9, on LightSquared’s lower band, 1526-1536 MHz, farther away from the GPS band, indicated that 75 percent of the GPS units involved in the test “experienced harmful interference” at the equivalent of 100 meters (109 yards) from a LightSquared base station.

The government is expected to release its official interference report imminently, Aviation Week said.

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