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FCC Bars LightSquared Broadband Network Plan
Frequent Business Traveler ^ | February 14, 2012 | Paul Riegler

Posted on 02/15/2012 5:51:02 AM PST by lump in the melting pot

The Federal Communications Commission announced it had revoked its conditional approval for the controversial LightSquared national broadband network.

The proposed network was to use airwaves once reserved for satellite-telephone transmissions and had been given a conditional approval by the FCC last year.

The FCC’s move follows a statement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which held that “there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference [with GPS] at this time.”

LightSquared’s plans have been strongly opposed by users of GPS systems, which include the military and the aviation industry. The NTIA tests demonstrated that the company’s network, even in a scaled-back version, would interfere with GPS signals and systems.

LightSquared, a Virginia-based company that is controlled by Philip Falcone, a hedge fund manager, issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the testing of the network was “severely flawed” and that it “remains committed to finding a resolution with the federal government and the GPS industry.”

LightSquared blames the GPS industry for making devices that stray into adjacent airwaves, namely the spectrum that LightSquared was planning to use.

The company has been very vocal about the problems it perceives exist with GPS technology. In the company’s blog, Jeff Carlisle, executive vice president for regulatory affairs, wrote that it appeared that the GPS industry had become “too big to fail,” noting that “GPS manufacturers have been selling devices that listen into frequencies outside of their assigned spectrum band – namely LightSquared’s licensed band.” He continued on to say that “The GPS industry has leveraged years of insider relationships and massive lobbying dollars to make sure that they don’t have to fix the problem they created.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: falcone; fcc; lightsquared; obama
A little Valentine from the FCC to Obama. LightSquared has been mentioned on FR several times. Michelle Malkin shone some light on it last year.
1 posted on 02/15/2012 5:51:10 AM PST by lump in the melting pot
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To: lump in the melting pot
Good News. That *is* the FCC's job, to prevent various users of the electromagnetic spectrum from interfering with each other.

2 posted on 02/15/2012 6:05:15 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: lump in the melting pot
Soros Surfaces on the Edge of White House Controversy Involving LightSquared
3 posted on 02/15/2012 6:07:57 AM PST by opentalk
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To: opentalk

Hussein wouldn’t cross soros. I wonder what the end game is?


4 posted on 02/15/2012 6:10:23 AM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: lump in the melting pot
Jeff Carlisle, executive vice president for regulatory affairs [wrote]: "it appeared that the GPS industry had become “too big to fail,” noting that “GPS manufacturers have been selling devices that listen into frequencies outside of their assigned spectrum band – namely LightSquared’s licensed band.”

Buddy, you need to talk to an actual RF engineer, rather than your hedge fund and political buddies.

The spectrum on either side of the GPS frequencies were purposely put there. They are what is known as a "guard band".

GPS transmissions are very low power, at least by the time the device receives them. It takes a significant amount of digital signal processing to extract the signal from the background noise.

If you transmit a signal at a much higher power in an adjacent frequency, it "blanks" the receiver. That's why those guard bands were reserved for OTHER low-power satellite transmissions. GPS devices don't listen outside their assigned frequencies, but they are affected by high power transmissions NEXT to the frequencies they listen to.

Filtering is possible, but difficult -- especially at the differential power levels we are talking about. However, even if it is possible, GPS devices have been designed and built for the past two decades with the expectations that those guard bands were in place.

Then, you came along and paid off a bunch of politicians to change the rules. They saw $$$, but they are a bunch of idiots that know nothing about the technical issues.

They sold you a pig in a poke. You got burned. It's your fault for not doing your due diligence.

5 posted on 02/15/2012 6:15:49 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: lump in the melting pot
namely LightSquared’s licensed band

Not any more, buddy.

Take a hike.

6 posted on 02/15/2012 6:19:49 AM PST by grobdriver (Proud Member, Party Of No! No Socialism - No Fascism - Nobama - No Way!)
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To: lump in the melting pot
The Federal Communications Commission announced it had revoked its conditional approval for the controversial LightSquared national broadband network.

Their product really had to be bleeding into the GPS bandwidth because this company's CEO is one of the ones pals.

The screwing around with GPS transmissions has serious national security implications as well as screwing around with my GPS golf, hunting, camping, fishing, navigation aid{s} is dangerous to their health.

7 posted on 02/15/2012 6:19:58 AM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorists savages.)
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To: lump in the melting pot
If you transmit a signal at a much higher power in an adjacent frequency, it "blanks" the receiver.

I forgot to explain why the signal is much higher power.

These guard bands were originally reserved for satellite-to-ground transmission. However, the politicians sold/assigned them to LightSquared, knowing full well that LightSquared intended to use them for terrestrial transmitters.

Yes, that's right: they wanted to put up a network of towers similar to a cell phone network, transmitting at a (relatively) high power, right next to the GPS band.

8 posted on 02/15/2012 6:22:11 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: justlurking

Glad to see the FCC finally does something right.
Look for a Sunday weeper piece in the NYT bemoaning the loss of this “high tech” industry.


9 posted on 02/15/2012 6:27:43 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Beware the Sweater Vest)
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To: lump in the melting pot

10 posted on 02/15/2012 6:31:01 AM PST by Red Badger (If you are unemployed long enough, you are no longer unemployed.)
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To: justlurking

Kind of like trying to hear a whisper when SOMEONE IS SCREAMING IN YOUR EAR!


11 posted on 02/15/2012 6:44:07 AM PST by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
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To: freeangel

Actually I think this is pretty simple. They got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Cats like Soros operate most effectively in fog and under cover of darkness. Shedding too much light on his plans tends to severely screw things up for him.


12 posted on 02/15/2012 6:45:04 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Glad to see the FCC finally does something right.

Don't give the FCC too much credit.

They granted LightSquared a "conditional" waiver in January, 2011. Now, it's been withdrawn.

But, it was fishy in the first place. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LightSquared#Interference_issues:

The initial modification order to allow terrestrial-only devices onto LightSquared's network was filed on November 19, 2010, with comments due on December 2, 2010, and reply comments due on December 9, 2010. This time frame has the US Thanksgiving holiday squarely in the middle of it, and allowed little official time for correspondence (six business days between filing and comments due, five business days between comments due and reply comments due).

13 posted on 02/15/2012 6:45:45 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: lump in the melting pot

Grover Norquist won’t be happy.


14 posted on 02/15/2012 6:47:40 AM PST by PizzaDriver ( on)
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To: freeangel

Insider short sale?


15 posted on 02/15/2012 6:50:31 AM PST by battlecry
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To: BitWielder1
That *is* the FCC's job...

That's nice. Now what is the FCC doing to prepare for the complete loss of GPS when the next extreme solar event takes place?

(crickets)

16 posted on 02/15/2012 6:58:45 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: freeangel
Hussein wouldn’t cross soros. I wonder what the end game is?

Don't be silly! You know that it is to be able to shut down all civilian communications when the revolution begins!

17 posted on 02/15/2012 7:01:16 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: USS Alaska
Their product really had to be bleeding into the GPS bandwidth because this company's CEO is one of the ones pals.

It's better than that. Obama actually invested $95,000 in LightSquared in 2005, but sold it for a $13,000 loss eight months later.

One has to wonder if he was promised something "under the table".

18 posted on 02/15/2012 7:07:46 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: justlurking
If you transmit a signal at a much higher power in an adjacent frequency, it "blanks" the receiver.

I forgot to explain why the signal is much higher power.

These guard bands were originally reserved for satellite-to-ground transmission. However, the politicians sold/assigned them to LightSquared, knowing full well that LightSquared intended to use them for terrestrial transmitters.

Yes, that's right: they wanted to put up a network of towers similar to a cell phone network, transmitting at a (relatively) high power, right next to the GPS band.

Well and succinctly stated, both in this post and the previous one.

Spot on from another RF engineer who has done cellular system planning as well as RF product development (incl some of the original GPS HDU (High Dynamic User Equipment) 'boxes' and manpack receivers) on a number of different bands.

Do you recall why we are re-farming public safety to 700 MHz and into the low end of 800 MHz?

Yup, because financial interests who were involved with NexTel located their 'cell sites' operating in the SMR 800 MHz band interfered with the public safety radios used by personnel 'out in the field' ... necessitating the re-location of NexTel 'services' adjacent to cellular at the high end of 800 MHz ...

Maybe the FCC figured that out (the interference issue) this time, or maybe not ... perhaps it was determined on the merits of the NTIA field study and the studied opinion of the RF experts alone ...

In any case, they made the right call for a change.

19 posted on 02/15/2012 7:17:29 AM PST by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: JimRed
Now what is the FCC doing to prepare for the complete loss of GPS when the next extreme solar event takes place?
#1) On what basis? What is going to be impacted to the point 'it (equipment) fails'? Please be specific ...

#2) It isn't the FCC's responsibility ... are you aware of who is responsible for GPS operation and planning?

20 posted on 02/15/2012 7:21:05 AM PST by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: _Jim
Spot on from another RF engineer who has done cellular system planning as well as RF product development (incl some of the original GPS HDU (High Dynamic User Equipment) 'boxes' and manpack receivers) on a number of different bands.

Sorry, I didn't mean to portray myself as an RF engineer. My only claim to any knowledge about this subject is that I have an amateur radio license.

Long ago, I was involved in VHF repeater siting and maintenance, so I learned just enough to be dangerous...

21 posted on 02/15/2012 7:27:11 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: justlurking

In any case, perhaps we’ve seen the end of their full page WSJ ads claiming they “own” the frequencies in question.


22 posted on 02/15/2012 7:28:26 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Beware the Sweater Vest)
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To: USS Alaska
Their product really had to be bleeding into the GPS bandwidth because this company's CEO is one of the ones pals.
It is much, MUCH more a matter of the 'dynamic range' of just a ton of 'User Segment' gear (think: Garmins, Trimbles, Tom-Toms, and cell site reference receivers etc) than it is 'bleed-over' from the gear LightSquared was going to field ... engineers term or quantify it as the "3rd Order Intercept" (TOI) point".

Much more detail than I can give in one sitting can be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-order_intercept_point

The premise for years had been that the GPS spectrum was going to be protected ... that has been the basis upon which the engineering and 'link budgets' and dynamic-range requirements have been based.

... sure, a MUCH higher dynamic-range (and better IF filter for adjacent channel rejection of signals supplied to the demodulator) GPS receiver could be built, but at the expense not so much in dollars, but in size (additional higher-performance RF filters for instance) and battery consumption (higher Drain -current low-noise 1st RF amplifier stage and also a higher-LO injection mixer as well) ...

23 posted on 02/15/2012 7:34:14 AM PST by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: _Jim

#1) On what basis?
#2) It isn’t the FCC’s responsibility

Sorry, I didn’t think the < /sarc > tag was necessary!

#1- Unhardened satellites.
#2- No.


24 posted on 02/15/2012 7:38:29 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: justlurking

In any case, you would do well as an RF engineer ... you recognize certain RF factors in RF engineering that a lot of ‘general’ engineers have little concept of. Practical field work has it benefits! 73’s


25 posted on 02/15/2012 7:38:49 AM PST by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: JimRed
Sorry, I didn’t think the < /sarc > tag was necessary!

#1- Unhardened satellites.
#2- No.

Fail and fail.

#1) No specifics (that answer is what we call in industry 'hand waving')

#2) No ident of the actual responsible agency (perhaps you really don't know?).

No soup for you!

Have a good day.

26 posted on 02/15/2012 7:42:34 AM PST by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: justlurking
Sorry, I didn't mean to portray myself as an RF engineer.

No, that was a great run down you did. Amature Radio is a great training in RF, more than some EE dergrees teach. Thanks for giving that great sumary.Last time I was on a thread like this there were some knownothings trying to claim the 'GPS industry' was trying to pull one over on the FCC. They would not listen to physics. After all, if it was in a news article it must be true. *sigh*
27 posted on 02/15/2012 7:44:01 AM PST by TalonDJ
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To: JimRed

The FCC’s job is not to ensure that GPS works, just that when it does that it works well with others and that others work well with it. They did their job by identifying that the new player would destroy GPS; the FCC, while powerful, cannot tell the Sun to stop emitting extreme solar events.


28 posted on 02/15/2012 7:45:12 AM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Explorer89
Kind of like trying to hear a whisper when SOMEONE IS SCREAMING IN YOUR EAR!

That's a valid analogy. What happens is that filters in the real world can never be perfect. You can try to have a filter that will exclude everything outside the GPS band, but a strong enough adjacent signal WILL leak through to your receiver. And when you are trying to listen to a satellite signal, it doesn't take much to overwhelm your reception.

29 posted on 02/15/2012 8:21:55 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks; grobdriver
In any case, perhaps we’ve seen the end of their full page WSJ ads claiming they “own” the frequencies in question.

Actually, I think that LightSquared does "own" the frequency band. But, they are only licensed to use it for satellite to ground transmissions.

The waiver granted them conditional approval to use it for terrestrial transmitters, as well. That's what was rescinded.

Every frequency band license has restrictions on the usage. The licensee can't use it however they choose, especially if it interferes with others.

30 posted on 02/15/2012 11:55:35 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: justlurking

‘twill be interesting to see how they monetize that.


31 posted on 02/15/2012 12:01:20 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Beware the Sweater Vest)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
‘twill be interesting to see how they monetize that.

They already have a satellite in the sky, presumably using that band.

LightSquared was formerly known as SkyTerra, and they launched a huge satellite in November, 2010.

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010/11/15/Biggest-satellite-antenna-launched/UPI-85811289871420/

But, now that the terrestrial network is no longer viable, I don't know how they plan to use the satellite.

32 posted on 02/15/2012 2:12:55 PM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: too_cool_for_skool

Read this.


33 posted on 02/16/2012 5:30:06 AM PST by dynoman (Objectivity is the essence of intelligence. - Marylin vos Savant)
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