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Sprint Gives LightSquared Until March to get FCC Clearance


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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 31 January 2012

 

 

Looks like this is their final chance (source: Total Telecom)

 

 

 

Sprint grants LightSquared new extension to get FCC clearance

 

By Greg Bensinger, Dow Jones Newswires

Tuesday 31 January 2012

 

U.S. operator has until mid-March to resolve FCC concerns its network interferes with GPS.

 

 

Sprint Nextel Corp. granted billionaire Philip Falcone's LightSquared Inc. a new six-week extension to get Federal Communications Commission clearance to operate its planned nationwide fourth-generation network.

 

A Sprint spokesman said Tuesday the carrier had given LightSquared until mid-March to resolve FCC concerns its network interferes with global-positioning systems. That follows a 30-day extension Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint gave LightSquared at the end of last year.

 

LightSquared has battled criticism from the Defense Department, lawmakers, GPS device manufacturers and others who say its wireless airwaves, or spectrum, will jam GPS signals. LightSquared--which is backed by Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund--needs FCC authorization to roll out its network to 260 million people by 2016.

 

817-grey.gif The FCC is accepting public comment until Feb. 27 on LightSquared's argument that GPS device manufacturers aren't entitled to legal protection from interference caused by its signals.

 

Getting the FCC's approval is a condition of Sprint and LightSquared's 15-year accord to share spectrum and network construction and equipment costs. LightSquared has said the agreement will help it save about $13 billion through the end of this decade.

 

To help mitigate any GPS interference, LightSquared last year agreed to lower the power of its cell towers and to use only a portion of its airwaves. The company has argued that it should not bear the cost of providing technology to companies to prevent any GPS signal-jamming.

 

LightSquared said earlier this month it has enough cash to operate through several quarters, though it has said it needs an additional $3.5 billion to be cash-flow positive over the next two years. The company said it is not raising additional funds as it works to resolve the FCC's concerns.

 

Officials from LightSquared and the FCC couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

 

 

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 1 February 2012

 

As the article on the wall stated, Sprint doesn't really lose anything on this except perhaps removing some LS2 equipment from some towers, so it can wait as long as it wants. The plans are set and can be used whenever LS2 gets its act together which for now is a long shot. The only consideration I think Sprint may find important is if there is a breakup fee or fine for non-performance on LS2's part. We all know how $ hungry Sprint has become lately.

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 1 February 2012

 

I doubt this thing gets figured out in that 6 week timeframe. Good thing Sprint isn't betting the farm on it. They were smart to put their eggs in many baskets. It would be nice to see a nationwide LTE provider, raise a little competition and make it good for the consumers.

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