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lightsquared redux


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I am a frequent Ars Technica reader, but I had missed this article. Thanks for the link.

 

Many of these politicians would be read the riot act in this little forum for their categorical assertions based on utter absence of engineering expertise, yet they showcase their bravado on an even greater stage. Something tells me that Robert already knows all about this form of political dysfunction.

 

Sigh...

 

AJ

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It's the same sort of BS I used to go through with Marketing as a Bell System carrier engineer, except politicians are even worse because they have incredible inflated egos that don't believe "technically infeasible" can't be changed to "of course we can, sir!" with just some more pressure.

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The conversations as they were presented make my skin crawl. No EE wants to be the person to blame for shutting out 70MHz of potential mobile broadband spectrum when due diligence hasn't been applied to see whether some alternate arrangement could be made, but there's no way something like that is going to work, while keeping GPS intact, as-is.

 

Personally, I'd rather have GPS that's reliable to a centimeter (with the correct receiver) and slower data/less spectrum than lose GPS accuracy in the name of faster broadband. If any of the Senators/Representatives think that LightSquared will solve rural broadband, they'd be in for a rude awakening a few years down the road when the company hasn't built out those areas with anything competitive, at best matching Sprint's footprint.

 

Also, using an iPhone 200 miles offshore is just absurd, from a ground-based communications perspective. Satphones work fine for this though, albeit expensively.

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Lightsquared gets an "A" for effort I suppose.

 

http://www.fiercewir...-lte/2012-10-01

 

LightSquared asks FCC to let it use weather-balloon spectrum for LTE

 

October 1, 2012 | By Phil Goldstein

 

LightSquared is hoping to use weather balloon spectrum to get its LTE network up and running. The company said it wants to combine its 1.6 GHz L-Band satellite spectrum with the spectrum the government provides for weather balloons in a spectrum-sharing arrangement. LightSquared entered into bankruptcy protection earlier this year after the FCC decided to revoke the company's conditional waiver to launch service. That decision came after government tests concluded there was no workable solution to GPS interference concerns posed by LightSquared's spectrum. The company has now submitted to the FCC a proposal under which the company would combine 5 MHz it uses for satellite service at 1670-1675 MHz with frequencies in the 1675-1680 MHz band, currently used by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration weather balloons. Such an arrangement would give the company 10 MHz for downstream LTE traffic and LightSquared would employ another pair of bands totaling 20 MHz--which it uses for satellite services now--for LTE traffic going upstream from users' mobile devices. There is no timeline on if or when the FCC will make a decision on LightSquared's proposal.

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I forget where the GPS spectrum band is and exactly how much it will need by way of guard bands... but I hope they can finally work this out. I am assuming that by using the balloon spectrum, they will give the guard bands to the government to be used for the balloons, but I have no real idea what they are really trying to purpose here. The best case scenario would be if they could swap the spectrum with something that uses the lower power satellite transmissions, and the corresponding swapped spectrum was not near anything it could interfere with... Good luck LightSquared... you'll need it...

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