GPS Spectrum and Interference Issues
The Global Positioning System uses radio signals in frequencies (spectrum) reserved for radio navigation services. Ensuring the continuity of the GPS service requires protection of this spectrum from interference.
GPS interference can come from a variety of sources, including radio emissions in nearby bands, intentional or unintentional jamming, and naturally occurring space weather.
The U.S. government works to minimize human sources of GPS interference through spectrum regulations (domestic and international), interference detection and mitigation efforts, and law enforcement.
Civilian GPS users experiencing problems from suspected radio interference should report them to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center and/or the FCC. Learn more
The FCC is clamping down on the marketing, sale, and use of illegal cellphone and GPS jamming devices. Consumers cannot legally use signal jammers within the United States. Learn more
The Department of Transportation is leading an effort to develop power limit criteria for transmitters in the bands near GPS, to ensure any future use of those bands will not disrupt GPS applications. Learn more
Use of Foreign RNSS Signals
FCC rules require licensing of non-federal receive-only equipment operating with foreign satellite systems, including receive-only earth stations operating with non-U.S. licensed radionavigation-satellite service (RNSS) satellites. In 2011, NTIA outlined the criteria it will apply in considering whether to recommend waiver of the FCC rules. Learn more
LightSquared and GPS
LightSquared was a company seeking FCC approval to provide a broadband wireless network integrated with satellite coverage. The GPS community was concerned LightSquared's ground transmissions in adjacent bands could overpower the GPS signals. Learn more
Solar activity, geomagnetic storms, and other natural phenomena can disturb the radio environment on Earth in ways that impact GPS reception. Learn more