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LightSquared LTE network interferes with GPS, says US government committee

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A government committee has found that the proposed LightSquared LTE network seriously interferes with GPS devices.

LightSquared Logo 600
LightSquared Logo 600

The saga of LightSquared may be coming to its final turn, as no fewer than nine federal agencies have unanimously agreed that its LTE network interferes with GPS in such a way that it can't be fixed. The group of agencies make up the National Space-Based Positioning and Timing Executive Committee, which also cited an FAA report that said the LightSquared network would interfere with aircraft safety systems. Although the committee doesn't have the final say, its decision is likely to hold quite a lot of sway with the FCC when it decides whether to allow LightSquared to launch its network.

In this light, Sprint's recent decision to "pause" investment in LightSquared makes a bit more sense — as do the increasingly indignant press releases from LightSquared itself. The latest claim from the upstart network is that a member of the committee was biased against the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It doesn't look good for LightSquared, which in turn may mean bad news for Sprint's LTE plans. Sprint had been planning on utilizing some of LightSquared's services, but now it will need to look elsewhere. That just-announced LTE Galaxy Nexus on Sprint may have to wait around a it longer than originally planned for nationwide 4G LTE.