Sprint to give LightSquared another month to get FCC approval

Sprint to give LightSquared another month to get FCC approval
Wholesale LTE-provider LightSquared was given a 30 day reprieve from Sprint, who signed a 15-year agreement to use LightSquared’s LTE network, pending government approval by the end of 2011. Unfortunately for all involved, regulatory approval has proved more difficult to secure than previously anticipated.

LightSquared’s LTE network interferes with existing GPS devices. The problem actually stems from the GPS device manufacturers, many of who made devices that use spectrum that belongs to LightSquared. Regardless of fault, the FCC doesn’t appear inclined to approve a network that could place large numbers of GPS devices at risk.

LightSquared has proposed many solutions, including restricting which part of the spectrum that their LTE network will operate on, as well as several different modifications that could retrofit existing GPS devices so they would filter out the interference.

Despite these attempts, the FCC has yet to approve LightSquared’s proposals. Sprint would be in a tough spot if LightSquared is unable to supply LTE bandwidth, as the cost of developing their own LTE network would be prohibitive. It’s not known how close LightSquared might be to gaining governmental approval, so it’s quite possible this won’t be the only extension that LightSquared is granted.

source: WSJ via mobileburn

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8 Comments

1. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

If LightSquared doesn't get approved, then what will become of Sprint's vision of an LTE network.? Also, would it an option for Sprint to just upgrade their WiMax network to WiMax 2 if this doesn't work out.?

2. Cwebb

Posts: 501; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

WiMax FTW!!!

3. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I don't see why Sprint is dealing with LightSquared for LTE. Clearwire, of which Sprint owns/controls the majority of, is starting to deploy it's LTE network, so I don't get why Sprint just doesn't use Clearwire to deploy LTE.

4. Gdrye

Posts: 111; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

it would be unwise for sprint to keep any sort of wimax, the #1 reason is the 20 billion dollars worth of iphone they bought..Apple wont make a wimax only for sprint while AT&T and Verizon will get LTE versions of the phone. plus with clearwire already on the LTE train wimax for sprint is as good as dead. Dont forget sprint LTE network is their own, lightsquared was something to help sure up roaming and maybe a lil more

5. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Sprint could give LightSquared 30 months and it wouldn't matter. The only way LightSquared solves the GPS signal interference issue is with a massive retro-fit of existing GPS receivers, which ain't gonna happen. Time for Sprint to move on to Plan B, whatever that is.

8. Uzzelien

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 22, 2011

This isn't true, the FCC ( who sells the spectrum to the cell phone provides ) can grant them a different spectrum to clear this problem if they so wish.

6. Carlitos

Posts: 670; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

So, if it doesnt happen for the next 30 dyas, what sprint invisioned as a "agressive LTE, roll out" would be destroyed. And they are ina 20 billion dollar deal, with apple for the iphone. So chances are that the next iphone will be LTE, and sprint wont have LTE available, and they will fall into a bigger debt. Lol this kinda looks like a worse case scenario fill me in if anything else can happen ^

7. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

wait a minute how is verizon getting away with using their lte network? dont the share the network with lightsquared

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