LightSquared Changes, Congressional Inquiry and More

On February 28, LightSquared announced its Chief Executive Officer Sanjiv Ahuja had resigned his position but would continue with LightSquared as its board chairman. The company will conduct a search to fill the CEO position. In the interim, current Chief Financial Officer Marc Montagner and Chief Network Officer Doug Smith will act as co-chief operating officers. It also was announced that Philip Falcone, chief executive officer of Harbinger Capital Partners, has been added to the LightSquared board of directors. Read more

FCC Approves License Transfer to Dish Network

On March 2, the International Bureau of the FCC approved the transfer of licenses from DBSD Satellite Services and TerreStar License, Inc. to Dish Network Corp. The licenses include gateway earth stations, earth terminals and ancillary terrestrial components (ATC).  Dish Network had acquired the two satellite companies out of bankruptcy. Read more

Ergen on Dish and Broadband Plans

According to multiple published accounts, Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charles Ergen is optimistic about the company’s planned nationwide 4G LTE network. Talking with reporters on Dish’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Ergen said that Dish had “an 80% chance or better” of successfully entering the wireless industry.

However, Ergen went on to say that much will depend upon the FCC and whether the commission will approve use of spectrum from the purchase of TerreStar Networks and DBSD North America to be used for the wireless service. “If by chance we are not granted a waiver or it was kicked down the road without a decision through rulemaking, then I think that we’d have to consider the risk, and at this point, I’d say we probably don’t have an 80% chance of success,” he said. “We’d have to look at other alternatives with what to do with the business and the spectrum, which would be unfortunate.” Dish applied for an ancillary terrestrial component waiver to facilitate construction and operation of a nationwide satellite-terrestrial hybrid wireless service. Read more

Sen. Grassley Continues, LightSquared and Others on Hold

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), has requested information from GPS companies in regard to communications between the investment group (Harbinger Capital Partners), the FCC and the White House prior to the granting of an ancillary terrestrial waiver to LightSquared. Sen. Grassely has given the GPS group, which includes Garmin and John Deere, a deadline of January 25. He has requested the same info from the FCC and Harbinger Capital Partners. Read more

More LightSquared Testing

Testing results were provided to federal officials yesterday in the ongoing LightSquared quest to provide hybrid-terrestrial LTE services. Testing in the L-band spectrum on both cellular and GPS general navigation receivers has been completed at the request of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Read more