Originally published: March 5, 2012
Last updated: March 5, 2012 - 5:30pm
After dealing with the political agony of LightSquared for the last year, the Federal Communications Commission clearly is in no rush to re-air that soap opera with Dish.
Dish’s S-band spectrum doesn’t have the GPS interference problems of LightSquared’s lower-frequency L-band airwaves, but it’s not exactly controversy-free either. AT&T and other operators claim that Dish’s 2 GHz frequencies could create interference problems for their mobile networks. Rather than risk another political firestorm, the FCC is going to explore all of the interference issues of a full-bore LTE network in the satellite bands before it signs off on any new networks. It’s a cautious approach that could delay the launch of new competing mobile broadband networks, but perhaps it’s a step the FCC should have taken from the start.
At the end of the rule-making process, there’s a good chance Dish will get its waiver. The obstacles it faces are much smaller than the GPS problems LightSquared had to cope with, and the rule-making process could establish a definite process for overcoming whatever interference problems emerge. Dish would have to wait a year or more, but despite the company’s protests, it had no plans to launch a network in that time frame in the first place.
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- GPS industry and LightSquared spar over responsibility for interference issue
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