More on LightSquared

The FCC recently announced that it has suspended a conditional waiver that had allowed LightSquared to construct and operate a satellite-hybrid LTE network. According to published reports, LightSquared was served early last week with a notice of default. LightSquared apparently failed to make a $56.25 million payment to Inmarsat. LightSquared has 60 days to correct the non-payment.

The ruling was prompted by a report from the National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA) indicating that the LightSquared planned LTE wholesale network would create harmful interference with GPS devices used by the U.S. government and commercial aviation. LightSquared has maintained that the interference is due to poor design of GPS devices that allow the units to “listen in” to devices in the L-band spectrum where LightSquared intended to deploy its network. The FCC has issued a request for comment on the NTIA letter.

Should LightSquared not make the payment to Inmarsat within the 60 days, the company will risk its partnership and the spectrum that Inmarsat had agreed to provide for the now suspended LTE network. LightSquared has indicated that there are outstanding issues to resolve with Inmarsat and that the final payment was not yet due.

Amid rumors of bankruptcy, which officials at LightSquared have denied, LightSquared announced that approximately 50% of its staff will be soon be out of work in an effort to  protect “the long term success of the company.” LightSquared said that it will continue to provide services for existing satellite service customers.

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