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U.S. Seeks Ways for LightSquared, GPS to Coexist, FCC Says

Regulators are trying to find ways for Philip Falcone’s LightSquared wireless service to co-exist with global-positioning system users who have complained of potential interference, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said.

“We’re not going to do anything that creates problems for GPS safety and service as we explore technical solutions that will both protect GPS and allow a new service to launch,” Genachowski said at a news conference today after the agency’s monthly meeting in Washington.

The FCC is considering whether to grant final approval to LightSquared, which plans a wholesale network for 260 million subscribers using airwaves previously reserved mainly for satellites. Makers and users of GPS devices, which use satellite signals, say LightSquared would disrupt navigation equipment on aircraft, boats, tractors and automobiles.

The agency is conducting “an engineering, fact-based process,” Genachowski said.

The FCC is taking comments until Aug. 15 on LightSquared’s proposal to lessen interference by initially limiting operations to part of its allocated airwaves. The agency hasn’t set a deadline for its decision, and is considering whether more testing may be needed, Julius Knapp, chief of the agency’s technology office, said in a briefing for reporters today.

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