‘Interference with GPS costs USD 96 bn to US economy’

‘Interference with GPS costs USD 96 bn to US economy’

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US: The economic study by Dr. Nam D. Pham of the Washington, D.C.-based NDP Consulting Group warned of “serious economic repercussions for the US economy” if LightSquared’s plans proceed. The analysis and views in the study has been commissioned by the Coalition to Save Our GPS. The author of the study, Dr. Nam was formerly a Scudder Kemper Investments vice president, chief economist of the Asia region for Standard and Poor’s DRI and World Bank economist.
The study pointed out that LightSquared’s planned deployment of 40,000 ground stations threatens direct economic costs of up to USD 96 billion which is equivalent of 0.7 percent of the US economy. The USD 96 billion figure is the total of up to USD 87.2 billion in costs to commercial GPS users and up to USD 8.8 billion in costs to commercial GPS manufacturers.
In addition, the study stated that the commercial adoption of GPS continues to grow at a high rate and is expected to annually create USD 122.4 billion in benefits and grow to directly affect more than 5.8 million jobs in the downstream commercial GPS-intensive industries.
The study made clear that its analysis is confined to the economic benefits of GPS technology to commercial GPS users and GPS manufacturers, mainly high precision GPS users and the economic costs of GPS signal degradation to only those sectors. The report therefore does not capture the considerable benefits and costs to consumer users of GPS, other non-commercial users and military users.
The analysis shows that GPS equipment revenues in North America in the 2005-2010 time period averaged USD 33.5 billion per year and that commercial sales accounted for 25 percent of the total, while the consumer and military markets respectively made up 59 percent and 16 percent of the total. The report notes that the US government has already invested USD 35 billion in taxpayer money in the GPS satellite constellation and continues to invest in GPS at a rate of about USD 1 billion a year.
Commenting on the study, Ken Golden, Director of global public relations at John Deere, said, “In agriculture, the loss of a stable GPS system could have an impact of anywhere from USD 14 to USD 30 billion each year.” Siamak Mirhakimi, General Manager, Caterpillar Electronics and Systems Integration, said, “Allowing any company to cause interference to the GPS band would be a major step backward and significantly impact this domestic industry, which has invested billions of dollars in GPS enabled products and which employs over a million people in the US.”
Jim Kirkland, Vice President and general counsel of Trimble, said, “This analysis highlights the massive economic benefits of GPS technology to the US economy. It also highlights how LightSquared’s recently announced ‘solution’ to the interference problem, which LightSquared admits will not reduce interference for high precision GPS uses, is no solution at all. High precision GPS uses represent nearly USD 10 billion in historical investment by GPS users over the last five years and USD 30 billion in annual economic benefits.”
Meanwhile, according to a report by IDG News Service, LightSquared proposed an alternative network plan in which it would use different frequencies to prevent interference with GPS. The company recently signed an agreement with Inmarsat that allows it to use its spectrum closest to the frequencies used by GPS.
Source: GPS Daily