Carmakers back Sirius on WCS interference claim

Three major carmakers have joined Sirius XM satellite radio in asking the Federal Communications Commission to prevent wireless networks from interfering with Sirius’ service.

Representatives of Chrysler, Ford and Volvo each have written the FCC supporting Sirius in its dispute with the Wireless Communications System (WCS) Coalition, according to a report on the Web site The carmakers include Sirius XM satellite receivers in many of the vehicles they sell.

Wireless Communications Services operate close to the same band used by Sirius in the 2.3 GHz range. Sirius claims WCS service interferes with its satellite radio service and that the problem will get worse if various WCS providers start offering wireless broadband on those frequencies. Expanding the use of those frequencies is part of the National Broadband Plan under consideration by the FCC.

 “Allowing WCS mobile devices to transmit in the bands close to satellite radio risks significant harm to our customers,” argued Ford in a letter to the FCC on January 26.

The WCS Coalition, which includes such companies as AT&T, Comcast and the wireless technology company Next Wave, replies that Sirius’ claims of interference are overblown.