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Published: Saturday, 7/30/2011 - Updated: 4 years ago

GM wants LightSquared blocked, seeks more tests


DETROIT — General Motors Co. asked regulators to bar Philip Falcone’s LightSquared wireless venture from some airwaves to prevent interference with global-positioning system users such as its OnStar navigation service.

“Considerable uncertainties remain” after LightSquared said it would initially forgo using airwaves nearest those exploited by OnStar and other GPS services, GM said in a filing Friday with the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC should prohibit LightSquared from operating in those airwaves and require more tests before the service begins operations in its remaining spectrum that is farther from GPS signals, GM said.

LightSquared, a wholesale service that aims to provide mobile Web browsing to 260 million subscribers, acknowledges there are “issues” with the airwaves nearest GPS use and “has agreed to a standstill until they can be resolved,” said Chris Stern, a spokesman for the Reston, Va.- based company.

LightSquared, backed by Mr. Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund, plans a network of 40,000 base stations serving 260 million consumers, operating on airwaves previously reserved mainly for satellites. Makers and users of GPS devices say the service may disrupt navigation equipment on aircraft, boats, tractors and automobiles.

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