Embattled LTE wholesale upstart LightSquared has written a letter to Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) and filed with the FCC blasting how Phase 1 testing was conducted on destructive interference trials between their terrestrial LTE network and high precision GPS systems.
In the letter, LightSquared starts in the first paragraph, with guns a-blazing, “As you know, from the outset, LightSquared found serious anomalies in NPEF’s test process.” Further claiming that testing was not carried out in a scientifically accurate, fair and unbiased manner.
LightSquared Executive Vice President Jeffrey Carlisle complained further in the letter that “We now know that many of the worst performing devices in the test were manufactured years ago, in some cases over a decade; in some cases are testing modules that are not sold to the general public; and in others are niche devices that would rarely, if ever, come close enough to a LightSquared base station to suffer any kind of impact.”
LightSquared requested that any future testing needs to be conducted with:
- Only using the Lower 10MHz channel that LS2 is requesting use of, and
- Testing needs to be at power levels not exceeding -30dBm
In its conclusions, LightSquared said that they hired their own independent testing laboratory. In the letter they claimed, “These test results demonstrate conclusively that LightSquared’s proposed mitigation solution works flawlessly for high precision (GPS) devices.” The test results will be sent to the FCC in the near future (and hopefully made public).
And this matters to Sprint, because…
LightSquared (LS2) has a LTE spectrum hosting agreement with Sprint. Where LightSquared’s LTE network will be deployed on Network Vision towers. LightSquared would pay Sprint billions for Sprint deploying and hosting LS2’s LTE network. Also under the deal, Sprint can use up to 50% of LightSquared 4G LTE capacity as a wholesale customer. Sprint has said they would only use LS2’s LTE network as additional capacity where needed and rely primarily on its own LTE network.
Sprint said last week that they have suspended any work associated with LightSquared until they can get the appropriate federal regulatory approvals. Sprint is not in the position to delay Network Vision deployment for even days at this point. Network Vision, full speed ahead. LightSquared be damned!
Things are not looking good for LightSquared. Even if science and technology are on their side. But politics are just not working to their favor at the moment. Can the underdog prevail? Stay tuned.
Sprint has currently extended LightSquared’s deadline to get federal approval until the end of January. Which is virtually impossible. We will have to see if Sprint provides another extension.
Thanks to @StevenJCrowley for Tweeting the letter.