Microsoft attempts to block Globalstar’s new WIFI network due to Xbox 360 controller connection issues


8, 2016


Microsoft has moved to block mobile satellite-service provider Globalstar’s attempt to repurpose their satellite spectrum into a terrestrial Wi-Fi network, complaining to the FCC that the signals on the 2.4 Ghz spectrum was causing issues for the discontinued Xbox 360S and its connection to its wireless controllers.

Microsoft was not the only one complaining, with Sony and Nintendo, via the Entertainment Software Association, noting GlobalStar’s Terrestrial Lower Power Solution is “likely to have a profound negative impact on consumers’ use and enjoyment of video game consoles by interfering with communication signals between the controller and the game console.”

They also noted that “TLPS could also cause significant harm to other consumer uses of the 2.4 GHz band, including hearing aids with Bluetooth and similar wireless features.”

Globalstar, who have already demonstrated an experimental network to the FCC in 2015 by supplying internet connectivity to a Washington school, said Microsoft’s opposition was based on biased experimental results.

“The opposition’s methodology included an extreme test setup and technical parameters that would never occur in any real world deployment” Globalstar Chief Executive Jay Monroe told investors during a Nov. 3 conference call. “On the contrary, when interference testing is conducted using accurate real world designs as we did and [as] we submitted in our Ex Parte, [coexistence]  has been confirmed in multiple tests and various environments in the past, which are also on the record.”

They claimed Microsoft’s tests were “flawed” and “appear to have been expressly designed to generate such harmful effects.”

Globalstar has said opening up this spectrum for its TLPS service could provide more capacity for congested public wireless networks, but besides Microsoft the company has also seen opposition from the cable television industry’s CableLabs, the Consumer Electronics Association, mobile satellite-service competitor Iridium Communications, and others.

Globalstar’s Monroe said gaining FCC approval remains the company’s No. 1 priority and concluded “… that TLPS can easily coexist with unlicensed operations. We trust that the commission will look past these absurd tests from those with obvious competitive interests.”

Read more about the drama at here.

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