Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 2

Date: Jan 09, 2012

LightSquared Files Petition Seeking FCC Ruling on GPS Interference Protection

The debate regarding interference from LightSquared's proposed terrestrial system continues. On December 14th, the Federal Government's National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing issued a statement reporting that LightSquared's transmissions will cause harmful interference to the majority of GPS receivers. Following the release of the statement, LightSquared filed with the FCC a Petition for Declaratory Ruling. The Petition seeks a ruling from the FCC that GPS devices are not entitled to interference protection from LightSquared's terrestrial wireless network and that LightSquared is not responsible for the costs of ensuring GPS devices can operate without interference. Under the 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FCC must resolve these interference issues before approving LightSquared's operations. This Act specifically prohibits the FCC from spending money to approve LightSquared's system until the agency "has resolved concerns of potential widespread harmful interference … to commercially available Global Positioning System devices." Please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) with questions.

Given recent reports of a looming cash flow problem at LightSquared, the company's plans might be in trouble if it does not quickly resolve interference concerns.
- Greg Kunkle
Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP

FCC Clarifies Licensing Procedures for Non-Standard Frequency Pairs

Last week, the FCC released a letter accepting procedures and conditions proposed by the Land Mobile Communications Council for licensing non-standard frequency pairs in the 450-470 MHz band. Under the new procedures, the FCC will authorize licensees of exclusive trunked systems to split 12.5 kHz channels into two 6.25 kHz channels using non-standard channel centers. The center of the non-standard channels will be offset by 3.125 kHz above and below the center frequency of the traditional 12.5 kHz channel. The licensee of a non-standard frequency pair will be entitled to the same interference protection rights as an exclusive licensee of a designated 12.5 kHz channel. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; wright@khlaw.com) with questions.

Keller and Heckman at Industry Events

On January 24, 2012, Keller and Heckman LLP Partners Doug Jarrett and Greg Kunkle will present Wireless Spectrum Availability for Smart Grid Applications in Room 213 AB at the DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. DistribuTECH is an annual conference and exhibition addressing the latest smart grid trends. Please contact Doug (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) or Greg (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) with questions or if you would like additional information.

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