Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
Greetings from Southern Illinois.
UPDATE ON LIGHTSQUARED
On Feb. 14, 2012 . the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) sent a letter to the chairman of the FCC. Here is the opening paragraph:
On behalf of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), I want to update you on our findings regarding the impacts of the proposed LightSquared deployment of terrestrial operations on Global Positioning System (GPS) services. Since I last wrote you in July 2011, federal agencies have performed a substantial amount of testing and analysis. Based on NTIA's independent evaluation of the testing and analysis performed over the last several months, we conclude that LightSquared's proposed mobile broadband network will impact GPS services and that there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time. Furthermore, while GPS equipment developers may be able to mitigate these issues via new technology in the future, the time and money required for federal, commercial, and private sector users to replace technology in the field and the marketplace, on aircraft, and in integrated national security systems cannot support the scheduled deployment of terrestrial services proposed by LightSquared.
You can read the whole letter here .
(8 pages long — but very interesting, and not too technical — the letter is from Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC.)
That same day an FCC spokesperson issued the following statement:
STATEMENT FROM FCC SPOKESPERSON TAMMY SUN ON LETTER FROM NTIA
ADDRESSING HARMFUL INTERFERENCE TESTING CONCLUSIONS
PERTAINING TO LIGHTSQUARED AND GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEMS
“To drive economic growth, job creation, and to promote competition, the FCC has been focused on freeing up spectrum for mobile broadband. This includes our efforts to remove regulatory barriers that preclude the use of spectrum for mobile services. To advance these goals, the Commission runs open processes — the success of which relies on the active, timely, and full participation of all stakeholders. “LightSquared’s proposal to provide ground-based mobile service offered the potential to unleash new spectrum for mobile broadband and enhance competition. The Commission clearly stated from the outset that harmful interference to GPS would not be permitted. This is why the Conditional Waiver Order issued by the Commission’s International Bureau prohibited LightSquared from beginning commercial operations unless harmful interference issues were resolved.
“NTIA, the federal agency that coordinates spectrum uses for the military and other federal government entities, has now concluded that there is no practical way to mitigate potential interference at this time. Consequently, the Commission will not lift the prohibition on LightSquared. The International Bureau of the Commission is proposing to (1) vacate the Conditional Waiver Order, and (2) suspend indefinitely LightSquared’s Ancillary Terrestrial Component authority to an extent consistent with the NTIA letter. A Public Notice seeking comment on NTIA’s conclusions and on these proposals will be released tomorrow.
“This proceeding has revealed challenges to maximizing the opportunities of mobile broadband for our economy. In particular, it has revealed challenges to removing regulatory barriers on spectrum that restrict use of that spectrum for mobile broadband. This includes receivers that pick up signals from spectrum uses in neighboring bands. There are very substantial costs to our economy and to consumers of preventing the use of this and other spectrum for mobile broadband. Congress, the FCC, other federal agencies, and private sector stakeholders must work together in a concerted effort to reduce regulatory barriers and free up spectrum for mobile broadband. Part of this effort should address receiver performance to help ensure the most efficient use of all spectrum to drive our economy and best serve American consumers.”
— FCC —
FCC PUBLIC NOTICE
Then on Feb. 15, 2012 the FCC issued a PUBLIC NOTICE inviting comment on NTIA's letter and basically saying that their “tentative conclusions” were to not allow LightSquared to use the spectrum adjacent to the GPS downlink frequencies. Comments are due no later than March 1, 2012.
This Public Notice, in my humble opinion, is a beautifully-crafted-government “CYA” document.
IB Docket No. 11-109
You can read the whole thing here .
I hope we can put this topic to rest now, but this is probably wishful thinking. There will be comments , then maybe further comments, and possible protests. For example, here is a footnote at the end of the Public Notice:
20 47 U.S.C. § 316. We note that in the event we decide — after evaluating the public comment received in response to this Public Notice — to modify LightSquared’s license as envisioned herein, our order of modification would not become final until after LightSquared has been given an additional period of time to protest, pursuant to the requirements of Section 316(a).
More Relevant News Here:
If you are wondering what all this concern about possible interference to GPS receivers has to do with paging . . . well, all the high-precision-simulcast paging systems using FLEX and ReFLEX on 900 MHz are controlled by GPS. Without GPS they wouldn't work very well — maybe not at all.
Now on to more news and views.
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IARU Special WRC Report No. 2
Rod Stafford W6ROD, Secretary International Amateur Radio Union, has released a further report on WRC-12 taking place in Geneva.
472-479 kHz. The worldwide amateur radio service has a new frequency band, 472 to 479 kHz.