Response to LightSquared Briefing Held Today on GPS Testing
The following statement in response to a briefing held today by LightSquared can be attributed to Jim Kirkland, Vice President and General Counsel of Trimble, a founding member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS.
“We look forward to studying the new test results announced today. It’s important to keep in mind that these are LightSquared-sponsored tests separate from the ongoing, independent testing being conducted under the auspices of the NTIA, and are simply one input into an overall analysis of the effect of LightSquared’s planned operations on critical GPS uses. The results of the NTIA-supervised tests of consumer and general navigation devices are expected to be available in mid-December, followed by further government-sponsored testing of high-precision GPS equipment next year. In addition, there are ongoing technical discussions between LightSquared and the FAA regarding impacts on aviation safety which remain unresolved. Once all of this testing and analysis has been completed, we will have a much more complete picture of the impacts of LightSquared’s revised proposals on GPS. It is obviously extremely premature to claim at this point that these latest tests demonstrate that LightSquared’s proposed repurposing of the mobile satellite band for terrestrial operations is “compatible” with highprecision GPS.
“In fact, we know that the results announced today do not address proven interference to hundreds of thousands of existing high-precision GPS receivers in a wide variety of critical uses. Even if new equipment solutions are fully tested and verified, these existing high-precision receivers will have to be retrofitted or replaced. LightSquared still refuses to accept the financial responsibility for addressing interference to existing devices, and so has not offered a comprehensive solution in any way, shape, or form. This refusal to accept financial responsibility is egregious in light of the multi-billion dollar windfall in increased spectrum value that LightSquared stands to pocket if its plans are allowed to go forward.
“LightSquared’s suggestion that the only interference issues relate to high-precision GPS devices is also premature and unsupported. LightSquared has claimed this before, and the FCC and NTIA disagreed in September, which is why more testing of consumer GPS devices was ordered. The results of these tests are the ones expected to be available in mid-December.”