Philip Falcone’s startup LightSquared planned to deploy a nationwide 4G LTE network in the United States. The firm’s service was found to cause interference with spectrum used by various GPS navigation and tracking solutions, however, forcing the Federal Communications Commission to block the network’s launch. Dish Network is looking to build a similar network and is currently awaiting government approval. Executives and analysts have said that Dish will probably avoid the interference concerns that killed LightSquared’s network, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The satellite company’s frequencies, which are above 2GHz, are far away from those used by GPS devices and Lightsquared’s 1600Mhz band, and are less likely to interfere. “It’s not as close to GPS, so it’s unlikely to interfere,” said Matthew Desch, chief executive officer of Iridium Communications, which operates more than 60 satellites. “But the approval is going to take some time. The FCC is going to make sure they don’t have another LightSquared problem on their hands.” Bryan Kraft, an analyst at Evercore Partners, believes that Dish will gain FCC approval in 6 to 12 months. More →
LightSquared on Tuesday issued a letter to the Federal Communications Commission ostensibly demanding approval to build out its 4G LTE network. LightSquared executive vice president of regulatory affairs and public policy Jeff Carlisle argued that the GPS industry has had almost 10 years to address issues that cause GPS satellite signals to partially transmit on spectrum that LightSquared has licensed. The letter was written in response to an announcement earlier this week from federal officials, stating that they were still concerned about interference LightSquared’s network causes with GPS equipment after conducting a new investigation into the matter. “LightSquared has had FCC authorization to build its network for over eight years and that authorization was endorsed by the GPS industry, and fully reviewed and allowed to proceed by several other government agencies,” Carlisle wrote in the letter. “Commercial GPS device-makers have had nearly a decade to design and sell devices that do not infringe on LightSquared’s licensed spectrum. They have no right to complain in the eleventh-hour about incompatibility when they had ample opportunity to avoid this problem.” A link to LightSquared’s full letter follows below. More →
LightSquared’s intentions to build a brand new 4G LTE network has gained nationwide attention, but over the past few months the attention has been turned to the network’s tendency to interfere with GPS devices. On Thursday, federal officials said they were still concerned about GPS interference despite a number of measures LightSquared has taken to address those issues. The company announced in late October that it worked with PCTEL to develop a new antenna that “[resolves] concerns over high precision GPS receivers.” Unfortunately, the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation still see an interference problem with the network. Read on for more. More →
A new study obtained by ABC News suggests that cell phones and other personal electronic devices might be causing electronic interference on airplanes. U.S. airlines all require that passengers power off any and all electronic devices, many claiming that “flight mode,” isn’t even allowed. Of course, if you’re like us, you may ignore those warnings and leave your phone on until the last possible second (or entirely with flight mode activated). The report, however, found that there were 75 different incidents between 2003 and 2009 where interference from personal electronics was possible. From ABC News:
Twenty-six of the incidents in the report affected the flight controls, including the autopilot, autothrust and landing gear. Seventeen affected navigation systems, while 15 affected communication systems. Thirteen of the incidents produced electronic warnings, including “engine indications.” The type of personal device most often suspected in the incidents were cell phones, linked to four out of ten.
During one flight, for example, autopilot disengaged at 4,500 feet. When pilots asked flight attendants to search the cabin for electronic devices, they discovered that one phone and three iPods were being used. After those devices were powered down, the flight continued without any incident. ABC News’ aviation expert, John Nance, isn’t convinced the electronics are to blame, however. “If an airplane is properly hardened, in terms of the sheathing of the electronics, there’s no way interference can occur,” he said. For reference, there are over 35,000 flights daily in the United States. More →
Lost in all of the buzz surrounding the iPhone 4 antenna fiasco was the fact that Apple has three new job listings for antenna engineers. Well, that is until Engadget unearthed them after sitting unnoticed since June 23rd, or one day before the official launch of the iPhone 4 and the very same day that the now infamous reception issues came to light. Here’s a little snippet from the job description.
“Define and implement antenna system architecture to optimize the radiation performance for wireless portable devices [...] The The candidate should be able to design antennas suitable for wireless handheld devices with excellent radiation performance [...] Work closely with other RF and antenna design engineers, mechanical and industrial designers, and EMC engineers to integrate the antenna design in our products.”
Irony, we love you so!
Thanks, Zachary! More →