Nothing huge but the network might “cause devastating interference” to GPS devices.

A new set of government tests showed that LightSquared’s proposed mobile broadband network disrupted the signal strength to all GPS devices in the test area, dealing another setback to the company’s startup plans. While all global-positioning system devices tested were affected, the severity of the loss of service varied, said Deane Bunce, co-chair of the National PNT Engineering Forum, a federal advisory group of engineers that oversaw the government tests. Mr. Bunce, speaking at a federal government advisory group hearing Thursday, said some devices lost signal strength while others were knocked out completely. For example, the government tests found that General Motors Co.’s OnStar system saw a “significant degradation of service” on most receivers tested.


LightSquared’s airwaves are located close to the airwaves used by GPS receivers, which can be overpowered by the wireless start-up’s signals. “It will cause interference. It will cause devastating interference,” said James Kirkland, vice president and general counsel of Trimble Navigation Ltd., a GPS maker. “There is not a solution here. In our view it’s time to stop squandering resources on this and find alternative spectrum for them.”…The government tests suggest that LightSquared’s GPS issues are more wide-spread than previously known. Last week, construction giant Deere & Co. reported that during recent testing in New Mexico, LightSquared’s network hobbled it’s GPS systems more than 20 miles away. Local law enforcement also reported police cars and ambulances lost GPS signals.


Related: Harbinger Capital Will Pay Redemptions…In Illiquid LightSquared Equity

18 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (18)

  1. Posted by Guy who gets lost regardless | June 10, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    I’d invest in Lightsquare

  2. Posted by Guy who still doesnt get OUTS | June 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Do we do it here?

  3. Posted by Non-Entity Hedge Fund Manager | June 10, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Don’t worry about Phil. He’ll be back with a new fund before the 2013 Robin Hood Foundation soiree.

    – Guy who has already seen this showP.S. Is this dance the hedge fund shuffle?

  4. Posted by Contrarioninvestor | June 10, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Time for IPO.

    -UBS banker

  5. Posted by Guest | June 10, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Perhaps the US Defense Department or the Russians would be interested in this technology?

    –Guy who likes to make silk purses out of sow’s ears

  6. Posted by United Nations | June 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    We have our Landcruisers in route now. These square lights might cause brain cancer and it’s our job to make sure we study it if it might cause cancer, because that’s what we do. 

  7. Posted by Falconned | June 10, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    I have some bearer share certificates issued by Falcone that no broker would accept, and it is interfering with my net worth. Should I be concerned?
    — Investor who should have stayed away from a fund named Harbinger

  8. Posted by Guest | June 10, 2011 at 5:17 PM


  9. Posted by I've Got Wood | June 10, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Speaking of Kinks, have you seen Lisa lately? The bitch is kinky

  10. Posted by Suasage King Of Greenwich | June 10, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Falcone, I have placed a lien on all of your vital organs as well as your eyes and facial skin (in case I get mauled by a chimp named chompers). 

    /Heavily invested in Harbinger

  11. Posted by Guest | June 10, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    No.  Call Harbinger. I was able to redeem mine for a pair of womens size 6 gladiator sandals and a barely used Koho hockey stick.  

  12. Posted by trojan | June 10, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. LightSquared begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

  13. Posted by Duh | June 10, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    The obvious solution is to scrap GPS.

  14. Posted by Mtk18 | June 10, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Bess: Wilbur fights back..Anal_yst: Yes. It launches nuclear loaded piano playing android pigs against their targets in Greenwich.Bess: Why attack Greenwich? Aren’t they our friends now?Anal_yst: Because Wilbur knows that SAC’s counterattack will eliminate its enemies over here.Bess: Wideclops save me.

  15. Posted by Guest | June 10, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    No problem, I can land the plane without it.

    -Capn Sully

  16. Posted by Catslovedogs | June 10, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    GPS satellites: 10,988 miles away from the receiver and 25.6 watts.  DeathStar: 40,000 towers, as close as say 100 feet away, broadcasting 1,500 watts each.  Spectrum is in close proximity to each other.  HELLO?  Was I the only one awake in 10th grade science class?

  17. Posted by Common Cents | June 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Good Point.  Who was the moron in charge of this investment?

  18. Posted by DownWithOPM | June 13, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    We did Chem in 10th grade. I can tell you all about what metals you shouldn’t put in water…unless you’re going to throw them in a lake and watch the fireworks.