|Lightsquared Lawsuit: On the law and the facts, chance of $billions|
|Written by Dave Burstein|
|Wednesday, 15 February 2012 14:52|
Never did interfere with GPS band. Phil Falcone may lose another $3B, but he's a loudmouth and no one feels sorry. His only obvious recourse is a $20B lawsuit against the FCC for denying him the legal use of his licensed spectrum. An independent engineer I respect evaluated Lightsquared's technology and concluded they've effectively prevented any interference with signals in the GPS band.
The problem was defective GPS receivers that didn't filter out signals in other bands, Most of them were sold after 2005, when the FCC suggested they would allow broadband signals in adjacent bands. Brendon Sasso has the facts straight "Testing showed that LightSquared's signal did not bleed into the GPS band. Instead, the problem was that GPS receivers were too sensitive to filter out LightSquared's powerful cell towers operating on nearby frequencies."
There's 40 MHz of spectrum of someone else's spectrum that the GPS industry is demanding be dedicated to an unofficial "guard band" because they didn't put some inexpensive filters in their gear. Lightsquared offered to leave 3/4ths of the spectrum fallow and cut power in half on the remainder, which would have protected the vast majority of devices in use. Julius still thinks getting more spectrum out is critical but lost on this one. Verizon and AT&T are cheering because they don't want any spectrum at all for anyone else.
There's nothing in law or FCC regulations requiring a new guard band but Larry Strickling forced Genachowski to leave the spectrum fallow. While the press kept reporting "Lightsquared interferes with GPS," the FCC engineers knew otherwise and had recommended putting the spectrum to use. FCC lawyers knew their legal position would be very tricky to defend if they denied the petition.
The wasted spectrum is enough to replicate Verizon's LTE network, for now the finest network in the world.