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LightSquared Says It Has GPS Fix

LightSquared said Wednesday that it has struck a deal with a company -- Javad GNSS - for a system to "eliminate" interference issues with high-precision GPS devices.

The ability of those devices, used in navigation, weather forecasting , defense and a host of other areas, to sense in-band LightSquared transmissions has stalled LightSquared's bid to launch a wholesale 4G terrestrial service using satellite spectrum and a waiver from the FCC, which has put a hold on that waiver until the GPS issues can be resolved.

"The Javad GNSS system can be adapted to work with high-precision GPS devices including those already in the agriculture, surveying, construction and defense industries," said a company spokesman.

LightSquared said the devices will be ready for public testing next month.

"This interference problem is not a difficult one to solve, once you decide to solve it,'' said Javad GNSS founder Javad Ashjaee in announcing the fix. "We've begun manufacturing preproduction models and expect to have 25 available within two week -- we are not talking in hypotheticals here."

Not so fast, said the GPS industry in a statement.

"LightSquared has, as usual, oversimplified and greatly overstated the significance of the claims of a single vendor to have ‘solved' the interference issue," said the Coalition to Save Our GPS. "There have been many vendor claims that have not proven out in rigorous tests and the demanding tests of marketplace acceptance. Moreover, this is not a one-size-fits-all situation and a few prototypes do not a solution make...LightSquared also ignores that fact that availability of new products, even if confirmed, does not address this very large existing base of equipment. If and when solutions are available, LightSquared must accept responsibility for paying to replace the existing base of existing equipment with new products.

"As the FCC and NTIA recently recognized, more testing is necessary to evaluate interference impacts under LightSquared's latest technical proposals. We welcome the participation of Javad in those tests."