Widespread concern that LightSquared’s proposed new wireless broadband network will create problems with current GPS systems has convinced the company to alter its plans. LightSquared now proposes to move some of its network to other airwaves and transmit at lower power levels. LightSquared states that these changes will mean its new network will not disturb the vast majority of GPS receivers currently in use.
Recent news reports said that government tests showed the LightSquared wireless signals interfered with GPS receivers, including those used by the Coast Guard, NASA, state police and other emergency systems.
Agricultural companies relying on GPS signals also voiced concern that the new network would interfere with navigation systems. John Deere was one of the agricultural companies to speak out against the first LightSquared plan. Deere sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in late May, stating that deploying the LightSquared network “will create massive interference” for Deere’s StarFire system, as well as other similar systems, “risking serious harm to the U.S. agriculture industry.”