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Lightsquared's LTE Broadband Satellite May Interfere With GPS Navigation

Lightsquared’s LTE broadband satellite system disrupts the GPS navigation systems used by airplanes, it has been found.

Satellite based communication services provider Lightsquared plans to offer a satellite 4G LTE broadband connection in the US in its bid to expand in new domains.

The company also managed to get the approval from the FCC to broadcast stronger signals that could be used for wireless broadband.

However, several GPS companies including Garmin and Tremble Navigation have claimed that the company’s terrestrial towers could affect the GPS signals that are used for air navigation.

According to tests conducted by the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) using Lightsquared’s equipment, the company’s tower receivers negatively impacted GPS systems on land as well as those used by airplane.

“Simulation of fully deployed LightSquared network of 40,000 base stations would degrade or result in loss of GPS function (ranging, position) at standoff distances ranging from few kilometers and extending to space operations,” the PNT report read, Radio Resource Media Group (opens in new tab) reports.

As a result of these findings, the US Federal Communications Commission has decided to bar the commercial launch of the multi-million dollar project until the GPS related issues are resolved.