RESTON, Va., Oct. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The GPS industry continues to claim falsely that it was caught off guard by LightSquared's network, but the truth is that it has known about the vulnerability of its devices for nearly a decade. Its member companies have not only participated in detailed FCC proceedings, but also warned their own investors about the risks they faced because they operated in spectrum that isn't assigned to GPS. In April 2011, the FCC flatly rejected the GPS industry's revisionist history: "In the case of GPS, we note that extensive terrestrial operations have been anticipated in the L-band for at least 8 years."
The industry made it clear in countless SEC 10K filings over the past eight years that its continued use of adjacent spectrum bands, not licensed to it, were critical to its continued business and financial success.
Specifically, in a 2006 filing, Trimble, wrote: "Many of our products use other radio frequency bands, together with the GPS signal, to provide enhanced GPS capabilities, such as real-time kinematic precision." As early as 2001, Trimble also wrote that "emissions from mobile satellite services and other equipment operating in adjacent frequency bands . . . may materially and adversely affect the utility and reliability of our products."
Not only was the GPS industry fully aware of the LightSquared network, but they fully participated in the public regulatory process to ensure that LightSquared's network would be compatible with GPS devices. Indeed, they blessed LightSquared's planned terrestrial network.
In 2004, the GPS industry "urge[d]" approval of LightSquared's network and that LightSquared should be "commended for its proposal to use its spectrum in a responsible manner that ensures the continued utility of GPS receivers . . . "
Despite our best efforts to offer solutions and find compromise while investing $14 billion in private investor money on a plan that will create 15,000 jobs a year over the next five years, the GPS industry continues to be the party employing revisionist history and ignoring the fact that they themselves blessed LightSquared's network.
In fact, all of the key technical parameters for a LightSquared ground based network, were resolved in a series of regulatory actions between 2003 and 2005 with the GPS industry's consent. Those decisions allowed our customers to communicate with our ground network and use the satellite network as a back-up. This is again confirmed by the GPS industry's own words in 2004. They urged approval of LightSquared's network because it would not only "validate [LightSquared's] adherence to best commercial practices," but it would "advance the public and national interests in promoting the responsible use of spectrum."
Why does this matter? Because LightSquared is moving forward based on the promise of the prior administration and the foresight of the Republican officials who led the FCC into a free-market idea that private enterprise would create competition in the wireless industry, promote greater access to technology, lower prices for consumers, and create jobs for Americans.
The GPS industry has known since our spectrum plan was approved in 2005 that it would need to begin building inexpensive filters into GPS devices to keep their devices from reaching into our spectrum. They did nothing because they thought LightSquared would never move from concept to reality. As LightSquared moved closer to actual deployment in January 2011, the GPS industry began a coordinated lobbying and public relations campaign to stop LightSquared.
Why did they start a typical Washington campaign to stop LightSquared? Because the GPS industry had eight years to design GPS products that could co-exist with LightSquared's network – as they promised to do in 2004 – but failed to live up to that promise. Now that LightSquared's network was about to become the reality, they faced the uncomfortable prospect of fixing GPS devices that they had failed to design to be compatible with LightSquared's network. They chose to try to stop LightSquared rather than own up to their responsibilities to their own customers.
Despite the fact that the GPS community has done nothing to mitigate a problem that is caused by its devices looking into our spectrum, LightSquared has amended its original plan to get rid of the interference problem for all but 0.5 percent of all devices — at a cost to us of an additional $100 million. And recently, we announced a new technological innovation that fixes the interference problem for the small number of remaining precision GPS devices. We have offered to pay up to $50 million to cover the retrofitting of the government's precision devices. In addition, years ago, we invested $9 million in filtering technology to make sure our signal dropped off like a cliff and did not emit into the GPS spectrum.
So our total commitment to mitigating a problem that is not of our making is nearly $160 million-plus at this point. Our continued efforts and willingness to compromise have produced technical solutions that eliminate the interference problem for virtually all GPS devices.
The only question left is: Who pays for the remaining devices that need a fix? Does the GPS industry believe it bears no fiscal responsibility for a problem that is of its own making? Or will it act responsibly and do as other industries have done when they go to market with a deficient device – offer a recall and fix the problem at its own expense?
LightSquared's mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. With the creation of the first-ever, wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage, LightSquared offers people the speed, value and reliability of universal connectivity, wherever they are in the United States. As a wholesale-only operator, LightSquared will deploy an open 4G wireless broadband network to be used by existing and new service providers to sell their own devices, applications and services – at a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared. The deployment and operation of LightSquared's network represent more than $14 billion of private investment over the next eight years. For more information about LightSquared, please go to www.LightSquared.com, www.facebook.com/LightSquared and www.twitter.com/LightSquared.
Forward Looking Statement
This release contains forward-looking statements and information regarding LightSquared and its business. Such statements are based on the current expectations and certain assumptions of LightSquared'smanagement and are, therefore, subject to certain risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements expressed herein relate only to information as of the date of this release. LightSquared has no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release, nor is there any assurance that the plans or strategies discussed in this release will not change.