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Sprint gives LightSquared 6 more weeks to score FCC approval

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Sprint gives LightSquared 6 more weeks to score FCC approval
For the second time, Sprint is giving wholesale network supplier LightSquared an extension to get FCC approval to launch its network. The original contract between LightSquared and the nation's third largest carrier expired at the end of the year when the ball dropped in Times Square without FCC approval for the network to start operating. The FCC continues to claim that LightSquared's pipeline interferes with GPS signals. This time, If the FCC doesn't sign off on the network by March, Sprint will terminate its agreement with LightSquared.

In its defense, LightSquared says that the government is testing its signal at a higher power than it will be operating at. LightSquared also claims that the company that performed the tests for the FCC has a conflict of interest and will benefit from the demise of LightSquared. Meanwhile, Sprint is planning on using LightSquared's LTE network to help it augment a rollout of its own 4G LTE pipeline. Other companies have signed up with LightSquared in the hopes of offering low cost LTE service to customers. LightSquared claims it has has enough money to last for a couple of more quarters but will need an additional $3.5 billion in funding to be cash-flow positive in two years.

In a statement, LightSquared said, "Sprint and LightSquared have agreed to extend our network agreement through mid March. Sprint continues to support our business plan to bring wireless broadband to more than 260 million Americans and our ongoing efforts to work with regulatory agencies to resolve interference concerns."

source: DowJones via CNET

7 Comments
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posted on 31 Jan 2012, 21:06

1. Birds (Posts: 983; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I have mixed fellings anout this.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 21:35 2

2. atrain1385 (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Jun 2011)


this is starting to sound like someone or some people dont want light squared to get off the ground i guessing this is what happened / is happening gps companies bought spectrum for their service back in a time when there was nothing or close to nothing next to it. they design equipment and service that using aloted spectrum but also bleeds over into neighboring spectrums but since no one is using that spectrum "who cares" attitude takes over because GPS is so awesome. Lightsquared buys neighboring specturm not knowing that GPS signal would be bleeding into it. Lightsquared asks GPS companies to look at problem. Problem is big multi billion million zillion dollar problem. GPS companies are caught red handed and are lobbying against Lightsquared build out instead of fixing problem cause its the "cheaper" fix. GPS companies end up using the "well GPS is now the established technology why should we change Lightsquared is the new guy they must be the problem defense". Lightsquared is now boned. tl dr

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 23:41

4. Forsaken77 (Posts: 547; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


Lightsquared is the one bleeding. LS says that gps companies will be shielded if they install filters. Government doesn't want that. They don't want ANY interference at all without filters. LS is screwed and so is Sprint. Now Sprint needs to develop their own LTE network, which will cost alot and take much longer, if they can afford it. LS was Sprints' only hope of LTE in a timely/cheap fashion.

posted on 01 Feb 2012, 07:32 1

5. Uzzelien (Posts: 131; Member since: 22 Feb 2011)


You're correct in a way but don't forget it's only the old gps units and that the goverment itself uses a lot of these units. So the US goverment who sold them the spectrum also dosn't want them to start because they don't want to change the ones they have/use.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 23:32 1

3. dla0052 (Posts: 9; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


Come on Sprint! Clearwire 4G never took off and now LightSquared is in Jeopardy. I already wasted my money on one 4G phone (EVO) and please don't give me the option to do it again. The Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T is looking real good right now.

posted on 01 Feb 2012, 08:07 2

6. dvancleave (Posts: 32; Member since: 19 Jul 2010)


Sprint gives Light Squared an additional 6 weeks to get FCC approval. Kinda sounds like an ultimatum. So... "You have 6 weeks to get FCC approval OR......"???? This is such an idle threat. Sprint's whole "aggressive LTE rollout" is heavily dependent on Light Squared's LTE network. And the FCC does not seem too eager to give them approval. So what is Sprint going to do as a Plan B anyway? Their WiMax network deployment is a joke. "America's first 4G network" now with the least coverage. And let us not forget that contract with Apple to sell $20 billion worth of iPhones in 4 years. It is going to be quite hard to sell the iPhone 5 and subsequent models if you don't have a good LTE network in place. And don't expect Apple to re-negotiate the terms. I think I hear a cry echoing from the past, "iceberg right ahead!" I love the unlimited data/texting and the any mobile minutes. But I am tired of hearing the whole "coming soon" pitch. How about some others like "put up or shut up", "actions speak louder than words" or "say what you do and do what you say"? I am really trying to keep faith and pull for Sprint. But come the end of the year, my contract is up on all the phones. And I am definitely looking to jump ship if Sprint does not deliver. The company I work for already did jump from Sprint to AT&T. And we are quite large and everyone had phones and half of us have the mobile broadband adapters as well.

posted on 01 Feb 2012, 11:43

7. ZayZay (Posts: 556; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


I am also wondering, what is plan B??

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