GPS firms facing LightSquared suit
Critics say the proposed network could have created coverage holes for coastal navigation
Investors behind LightSquared, a bankrupt company that raised fears among marine GPS users with a plan to build a high-powered wireless network in spectrum adjacent to GPS, have filed a $1.9 billion lawsuit in a bid to recoup their losses.
A group led by Harbinger Capital Partners alleges that three manufacturers of GPS equipment – Deere & Company, Garmin International and Trimble Navigation, along with the U.S. GPS Industry Council and the Coalition to Save Our GPS (CSOG) – are liable for not warning investors about problems that grounded the project. Potential signal interference from the LightSquared network led the FCC to put the kibosh on it last year.
Although the land-based project would not have affected offshore navigation, critics said the strength of the LightSquared signals – “one billion times more powerful than GPS signals as received on Earth,” according to the CSOG – could have created coverage holes for boaters navigating close to the coast.