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Global Positioning System Re-Radiators

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his assessment is of the significance of global positioning system re-radiators for (a) the defence industry and (b) British defence capability, with particular reference to the development of (i) the Bowman system and (ii) the Typhoon aircraft. (81195)

[holding answer 29 June 2006]: Global positioning system (GPS) re-radiators provide GPS signals on exactly the same frequencies as the GPS satellites by receiving and re-transmitting the signals from the GPS satellites. They therefore can have a benefit in extending GPS coverage to areas where the GPS satellites cannot provide coverage due to the attenuation of satellite signal.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and (b) Ofcom regarding the licensing of global positioning system re-radiators; and if he will make a statement. (81196)

[holding answer 29 June 2006]: The Ministry of Defence has had no discussions with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the licensing of global positioning system (GPS) re-radiators.

The MOD has recently discussed the licensing of GPS re-radiators with representatives from Office of Communications (Ofcom), the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport.

MOD has stated to Ofcom that it considers there may be significant interference problems if GPS re-radiators are licence-exempted.

MOD has further stated to Ofcom that it considers the approach used by the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with regard to GPS re-radiators may be appropriate in the UK. The NTIA allowed GPS re-radiators to be used in the US by federal agencies (Government and Government Agencies) at fixed locations.