Filter-Maker Says LightSquared Can 'Co-Exist' With GPS

Nov 10 2011 | 10:32am ET

A maker of global positioning system filters told a U.S. government advisory board that Harbinger Capital Partners' planned wireless Internet venture should not pose a threat to GPS.

"Not only can" LightSquared "co-exist" with GPS, "it can complement" it," Javad Ashjaee told the advisory board of the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation & Timing. Ashjaee's Javad GNSS develops filters to cut down on interference for GPS devices.

Such devices, which could cost as little a $6 each for precision GPS equipment, can build a barrier "as big as the wall of China" between LightSquared's frequencies and those used by GPS.

Harbinger has poured a huge amount of its assets under management into LightSquared, which has been vociferously opposed by GPS users. One of the venture's most voluble opponents, Trimble Navigation's Jim Kirkland, warned that it "remains to be seen" whether the filters would work, and that "costs are potentially high hundreds of millions, potentially a billion."

"Who pays?" Kirkland asked.

LightSquared has previously said that the "GPS industry has to bear responsibility" and should pay a share of the costs of the filters. The company said that the GPS community has known about potential problems for as long as a decade, but has done nothing about it.

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