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‘US provides USD 18bn subsidies to GPS industry’

US: The commercial GPS industry has received an estimated USD 18 billion in implicit subsidies from the US government and is essentially using the GPS satellite network at no cost, according to report issued by The Battle Group, a consulting firm. In contrast, commercial wireless broadband providers must invest billions of dollars in building and maintaining a network of transmission sites and satellites and ensuring that there is no interference with GPS receivers.
The report, GPS Interference: Implicit Subsidy to the GPS Industry and Cost to LightSquared of Accommodation, is sponsored by LightSquared, the first wholesale provider of nationwide 4G LTE wireless broadband services that incorporate satellite coverage and is available for download. 
According to the report, “By using the GPS satellite network free of charge, commercial GPS device manufacturers enjoy substantial benefits at no cost. However, in order to offer the same geo-location services, these commercial users would have to rely on some equivalent system. This is a cost that the commercial GPS users do not face, because the federal government allocates valuable spectrum for GPS transmissions and invests in GPS satellite infrastructure and operations.” 
The report also concluded that by making use of otherwise underused spectrum, LightSquared’s proposed 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network would introduce broadband wireless services worth approximately USD 12 billion in value to the economy and USD 120 billion in benefits to consumers. Derailing LightSquared’s deployment of LTE would cause significant economic harm, the report added. 
The report noted that by failing to deploy receivers with sufficient filters, the GPS industry essentially uses LightSquared’s L-Band spectrum beyond the GPS allocation. Fixing this problem through the deployment of better filters in GPS devices will add some costs to the GPS industry, but those costs would only be a fraction of the USD 120 billion in benefits that would be created by LightSquared’s deployment of its LTE network. 
Source: The Battle Group