FCC to Kill Off LightSquared's 4G Dream Discussion

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Ryan Punzalan, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Ryan Punzalan

    Ryan Punzalan Brighthand Contributor

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    LightSquared, the company that hoped to develop a wholesale 4G LTE wireless broadband communications network with satellite coverage across the United States, will be suspended indefinitely by the Federal Communication Commission.

     

    Read the full content of this Article: FCC to Kill Off LightSquared's 4G Dream

     

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  2. Girt

    Girt Gadgeteer

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    That's a real pity. It would've been a game changer for the good - for the consumer. Hope the 'problems' are legit.

    I still have vague and probably unfounded hopes in Verizon's use of the TV bands (was that 750?). I thought that was supposed to be available to any carrier.
     
  3. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    I posted this in another thread about this topic; but from what I read, the real malefactor in this issue seems to be the designers of the GPS units, which receive a wider signal range than they should. To make a crude analogy, it's as if someone made a radio that picked up cellphone frequencies or cordless phone frequencies (something that actually happened in the early days of cordless phones, so you could hear your neighbors sitting beside their pool); and then blaming the cordless phone manufacturers who were assigned that frequency.

    Again, from what I read, there was adequate 'white space' allotted to 'surround' the Lightsquared network frequencies.
     
  4. SGosnell

    SGosnell Palm Pilot

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    The problems are absolutely legit. The US Air Force designed the GPS system, and operates it. Manufacturers produce units that operate in the frequency band assigned to GPS. Lightspeed knew full well what the GPS band used, and thought they could buy enough politicians to ram their system through. Turned out it didn't work. It's up to Lightspeed to design a system that works without impinging on bands they aren't authorized to use. The entire aviation industry would be hurt by GPS being degraded, as would the military. It was designed for military use in the first place, and civil aviation got on the bandwagon later, and now it's too late for any civilian company to try to get it changed. I have no sympathy at all for Lightspeed. Just another vulture capitalist trying to get richer, at the expense of the public.
     
  5. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    That's not the info I've read. LS stayed within the frequencies it was assigned. Apparently, air force or not, the problem seems to be a result of GPS devices receiving signals they shouldn't.
     
  6. SGosnell

    SGosnell Palm Pilot

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    There is a huge difference between using frequencies on the ground, and transmitting them with high power from satellites. Lightspeed is going to have to go back to the drawing board. Killing or crippling the GPS system isn't going to be allowed. There is a very long thread on this subject elsewhere on Brighthand, which started some time back, where the problems were discussed. Lightspeed's implementation affects frequencies well outside its assigned band, and requiring new GPS devices to avoid interference is simply too arrogant to be allowed. Ain't gonna happen, no matter how much their lobbyists have paid politicians.
     
  7. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    With adequate 'white space,' and proper 'tuning,' there's no reason why the GPS devices should be overwhelmed. They're not cheap AM radios.
     
  8. SGosnell

    SGosnell Palm Pilot

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    True. There should be no reason there should be interference, if Lightspeed's system worked properly. It doesn't. It would require the replacement of every GPS receiver now in existence. An outcry against Lightspeed's system started as soon as the details were announced, and has continued. Every test showed that it interfered with GPS reception. Lightspeed just assumed that since the owner is extremely wealthy, the government would just roll over for it. That seems to be the usual way things work, but the stakes were just too high in this case.
     
  9. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    Again, it seems like the GPS units are the things that don't work right. The Times is hardly a supporter of Falcone's (after all, he's a capitalist). Until I read a disinterested account that explains why LS is wrong (which I haven't), I'm going to go with reasonably respected sources.

    How can LS not 'work right?' It transmits. The problem seems to come with interference on GPS units. So the two basic ways that can occur is if LS is transmitting beyond its allotted spectrum (which sources say is not the case); or GPS units receive signals they should not.
     
  10. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Above: Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    It isn't quite that straight-forward, though. A strong enough signal (such as from LS) can induce reception in devices that don't normally function as receivers; a personal example is a local FM station being received through my PC's speakers, even with the PC turned off. Given that GPS units *are* designed to receive in the first place, it's easily conceivable that a signal as strong as transmitted by LS will cause interference.
     
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