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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 170
 - posted February 15, 2012 11:15
This will make TheMoMan happy:
The FCC has indefinitely suspended LightSquared's conditional waiver to operate the network.

LightSquared will flail around for a while, no doubt, as they try to appeal the decision and/or figure out some way to overcome the technical issues, so it's almost certainly not the last we'll hear of them. I doubt they'll accomplish anything other than burning through whatever capital they have left and plunging the company into bankruptcy.
Member # 780
 - posted February 15, 2012 14:35
Based on stuff I read on ars yesterday, no solution appears to be within sight. I hadn't quite understood what all the fuss was about until I read the /lengthy/ comment thread from an earlier story [on ars] and found that LightSquared was using frequencies that were meant to be used at [relatively] low power from space...on the ground at massively higher power. Otherwise at first blush, it sounds like LightSquared is entirely justified in saying that they can use the frequency and everything is cool.

Every now and then, common sense prevails!
The Famous Druid
Member # 1769
 - posted February 15, 2012 19:06
I've got to confess, when TheMoMan posted on this a while back, I was sceptical. I thought it can't be as bad as the article suggests, or they'd never allow it to happen.

Well, I was wrong, and right.

It was as bad as the article suggested,
and they didn't allow it to happen.

Originally posted by dragonman97:
Every now and then, common sense prevails!

Just often enough to keep us off-balance.
Member # 1659
 - posted February 15, 2012 20:34
I had necro-posted from the old TOM-TOM thread.

For the past year I have been afraid that the FCC would approve the use of LightSquareds ancillary network for broadband internet and 4G networking. However the powers that be have actually looked at the PHYSICS involved and said no to LightSquared.

Lets talk about the "L" band of frequencies, five decades ago they were set aside for weak signal, space to ground communications. SkyTerra, Iridium and others used those frequencies to provide Satellite cell phone service. there is no problem with that use and GPS. However there was a little kicker in the lower "L" band that a satellite phone company could use an ancillary ground network to fill in dead spots. LightSquared bought SkyTerra and it's band width and only wanted to use the ancillary network portion of the license. The ancillary network would involve 40 thousand 1500watt cell towers, I really feared that we would all be cooked. Remember that most Microwave ovens are 900watt. Also SkyTerra sold high precision GPS signals and gear to surveying companies and farmers.

That much power would totally overload the front ends of the GPS receivers and prevent them from getting a fix.

Harbinger Capital bought Sky-Terra and renamed it LightSquared hopping to turn their bargain priced Sat/Phone company into a real cash cow.

The other problem with this whole deal is the international aspects and radio band treaties. Most of Europe would not want their form of GPS mucked up by interference from the USA. Then there is the airliner problem, Air planes from all over the world land and take off using some form of GPS, it may be named something else but it works in the same weak signal bands. Weak signals and strong signals can exist you just will not hear the weak one, too bad if that is the one you wanted.

There is a mode of ham radio called QRP the objective is to see how far you can use a very weak signal. This mode requires very sensitive receivers, remember you are trying to pick the weak one. However if you fail to hear the other operator no harm is done it is not like blocking a ground control approach to an airport.
Member # 1659
 - posted February 18, 2012 08:59
This blog dated Feb 17 2012 has the best description of why LightSquared should not be approved.

The Silicon Grey Beard.

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