Tests show wireless network could jam GPS systems

By JOELLE TESSLER | June 10, 2011 | 4:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — New government test results show that a proposed high-speed wireless broadband network could jam GPS systems used for everything from aviation to public safety and military operations.

The results released by a federal working group Friday come amid mounting concern that LightSquared's planned network could cripple GPS systems throughout the nation's infrastructure, some of which are critical to national defense.

In January the Federal Communications Commission gave LightSquared approval to build a nationwide fourth-generation wireless network that would compete with super-fast systems being rolled out by AT&T and Verizon. The company's plans set off alarm bells among GPS equipment makers, government agencies and companies that rely on GPS systems, since LightSquared's network would use airwaves next to those already set aside for GPS.