Tests Show LightSquared Interferes With GPS

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Testing has shown that a proposed national wireless broadband network system could negatively impact some GPS systems, or worse, and at least one company has already stepped forward to say they can fix the problem. LightSquared, which hopes to install 40,000 antennas across the country, may now face problems winning FCC approval that could also translate into additional costs for its primary financial backer. Meanwhile, a committee that advises air-traffic management policy believes GPS and LightSquared can be made to co-exist. And at least one company thinks it could offer an effective solution.

LightSquared's largest financial backer, Harbinger Capital Partners, has already invested $2.9 billion of assets into the project, according to LightSquared. According to a Wall Street Journal article published Wednesday, regulators are probing certain trades Harbinger (a hedge fund) made years ago. It is not yet clear if that will have any affect on the company's relationship with LightSquared. Those who would like to see LightSquared prosper may include Symmetricom, a company that says packet-based primary reference source synchronization solutions could eliminate any interference between the LightSquared system and aviation GPS. Whatever the case, moving forward may require further modifications and testing to determine a method for safe and practical deployment of the LightSquared system.