Data from testing actual hardware appear to confirm initial concerns that a new 4G wireless broadband network in the United States would interfere with the Global Positioning Satellite signal, said Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command. “Although the data [are] still being analyzed, I would tell you that the empirical data [appear] to be consistent with the analytical data,” Shelton told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel last week. Accordingly, he continued, “we have concerns” for civil, commercial, and military applications involving GPS. LightSquared, a telecommunications company headquartered in Reston, Va., seeks Federal Communication Commission approval to establish the broadband network, which would feature thousands of cell phone towers and space-based augmentation. Those towers could disrupt the GPS signal, and testing of LightSquared equipment at Kirtland AFB, N.M., with various GPS receivers seems to confirm that, said Shelton during the May 11 hearing.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.