"˜Technology Fix' Muddies LightSquared Debate

On Sept. 21, LightSquared announced that it had partnered with Javad GNSS Inc. to develop a technology fix--a protective filter designed to make GNSS equipment “compatible” with the LightSquared network. The news was met with broad criticism from the GPS industry. A statement issued by the Coalition to Save Our GPS said, “LightSquared has, as usual, oversimplified and greatly overstated the significance of the claims of a single vendor to have ‘solved’ the interference issue. There have been many vendor claims that have not proven out in rigorous tests and the demanding tests of marketplace acceptance.”

In an interview with POB,Javad GNSS founder Javad Ashjaee downplayed the criticism. “Sometimes technical development gets caught up in the middle of a political controversy,” he said. “This band of spectrum is getting congested. We cannot claim we own this band and have one mile to the left and one mile to the right because we don’t want to do a little bit of research to stay within our band. We’ve shown we can do that.”

Javad GNSS is offering to retrofit existing GPS receivers at cost to make them LightSquared compatible.

The Coalition to Save Our GPS continued to emphasize that additional testing is necessary to evaluate the impact of interference with the latest technical proposals. It also said LightSquared must accept responsibility for paying to replace the existing base of equipment with new product if and when proven solutions become available.