Thursday, September 22, 2011

The LightSquared Deal: You're Screwed

If you have a GPS phone or system, and you use it for "precision" work, such as in agriculture, construction, or surveying,  you are screwed.

Satellite-4G carrier LightSquared said Wednesday that gear to prevent interference between its network and precision GPS gear will cost $50 to $300 per device and it is in talks with the U.S. government about covering the cost of upgrading or replacing all federally-owned devices.

LightSquared said the total cost for the government gear would be in the tens of millions of dollars, but declined to be more specific because it does not yet know how many precision GPS devices the government owns or what kinds of devices they are.
The company isn't planning to pay for the replacement or retrofitting of GPS gear used by private companies, said Terry Neal, LightSquared's senior vice president of communications. "We have not made an offer to swap out all the devices in the known universe." But he said users would not face an "onerous cost" to solve the problem.

Oh, that's not all.  Some critics of the LightSquared deal are saying that the "fix" is the equivalent of  vaporware.

...The Coalition to Save Our GPS, an industry group that fiercely opposes LightSquared's plan...[said...] "LightSquared has, as usual, oversimplified and greatly overstated the significance of the claims of a single vendor to have 'solved' the interference issue," the group said in a statement. No one product can solve interference for the wide range of applications of precision GPS, which include aviation and life-safety operations, it said.
Given that LightSquared's assets increased by about $8 BILLION because of the Obama Regime's questionable decision, one would think they could replace lots of GPS devices, no?

Their response:  No.  And STFU, too.

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