Equipment Manufacturers Organize to Save GPS from Interferance

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently granted a waiver for a new company, LightSquared, to build a new broadband network on a spectrum that industry groups and other federal agencies feel is too close to the GPS spectrum and could cause significant interference. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers helped organize The Coalition to Save Our GPS to oppose this decision and secure the integrity of GPS transmissions for member companies who install systems that rely on GPS signals in the construction and agricultural equipment they sell.

USA Today reports industry groups predicting LightSquared's new towers creating vast zones where motorists can't find GPS directions, smartphones will lose functionality, and 911 emergency systems will be confounded.

"It will overwhelm the signal from the GPS," Jim Kirkland, general counsel of Trimble Navigation, told USA Today. "If a commercial airliner is coming in on approach and it loses its GPS signal, then they abort the landing. Think what (interference from a wireless transmitter) would do to BWI or LaGuardia (airports)." (More at AEM.org . . . )

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