And its effects on precision agriculture Rachael Arkfeld
Lightsquared • “will unleash the boundless opportunity of wireless broadband connectivity for all. We believe that it is time to transform the broadband industry to one that truly fosters innovation, creativity, and freedom of choice—with limitless and unimaginable possibilities.” --lightsquared.com Watch this!
To me, LightSquared does not offer anything that I do not already have besides constant service, no matter where I am. • Everything else in the movie clip is already provided through other communications service
March 1, 2001: Mobile Satellite Ventures applied to FCC to use spot-beam satellites and terrestrial base stations • LightSquared’s owner-Phil Falcone, his wife, and its CEO donated $90,000 to President Obama’s Democratic National Committee • Obama also donated $50,000 to SkyTerra in 2005, which then donated $50,000 to his 2008 campaign • January 26, 2011: FCC (chaired by one of Obama’s Harvard friends) granted the ability to use terrestrial based devices only. • LightSquared already has one satellite in orbit—the SkyTerra1 launched on November 14th, 2010 from Kazakhstan
Letters started pouring in from the NTIA chief, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the head of the USAF space command, and the Department of Transportation and Homeland Security about their concerns • FCC became concerned about the new studies that were coming out, but LightSquared threatened to sue the FCC if they were denied.
The transmitters for LightSquared send out random signals when they are amplified which can travel into the 1575MHz area and drown out the weak GPS signals. LightSquared has rights to use 1525-1559 MHz.
Effects on Agriculture • This will effect EVERYTHING that uses GPS! • signals to in-cab devices will be blocked • signals to your Garmin,TomTom or cell phone will be blocked • If trackers used this broadband, accuracy would significantly decrease
Other consequences • The US Military will not be able to use GPS if there is a LightSquared tower nearby. • Airlines are afraid that they will not have sufficient signal from these land-based towers or satellites, creating safety issues.
Example by Eric Gakstatter • More than likely, every house in a typical residential housing subdivision has a radio. Everyone, more or less, coexists nicely together. Radios are relatively low-power devices that can be enjoyed within the household and not be heard by the neighbors. • What LightSquared is proposing is to setup a rock band stage blasting a billion times stronger power than your household radio, and spacing those rock band stages a few miles apart in your community. There’s no way you can do that without creating a tremendous amount of noise that can be heard by people in the surrounding homes.
In June 2011, LightSquared signed a 15 year contract with Sprint in their efforts to become a giant in the communications industry. • Feburary 28th, CEO of LightSquared, SanjivAhuja, resigns unexpectantly • In March 2012, Sprint ended their contract with LightSquared.
April 2012, LightSquared is contemplating bankruptcy, recently missed a payment on their $56 million loan from a British bank, and cut their workforce by 45%. • But, they are getting ready to fight back! LightSquared has hired two lawyers, claiming that the studies that the FCC used to deny LightSquared the ability to proceed with their plans were bogus. • LightSquared claims that their towers do not effect 99.5% of GPS devices, but they have not shown any data to prove this.
My conclusions • It would be really awesome if it would work on everyone’s phone, but I get lost too easily and have to have my Garmin everywhere I go! • The FCC and LightSquared are too stubborn to change the frequency level at which LightSquared will operate on and no one knows if changing the frequency will work.
It is too expensive to change and adapt everything that uses GPS to fit the requirements of the LightSquared signals • We cannot count on only land based systems for our guidance. • One person said that it is the consumers that are suffering because they lose out on the opportunity and competition between carriers that would lower service prices.