Billionaire and would-be 4G entrepreneur Philip Falcone has accepted an SEC settlement requiring him sit out the hedge fund industry for five years. In exchange he gets to keep control of LightSquared.
If the FCC won’t let LightSquared launch LTE in its satellite spectrum, then the carrier wants the commission to find its network an alternate home on the airwaves. LightSquared still claims its 4G network will leave GPS unharmed, but it’s willing to consider a spectrum swap.
After a year of LightSquared fighting GPS industry and government agencies over whether its network would interfere with GPS receivers, the Federal Communications Commission dropped the hammer Tuesday evening, saying it would revoke the would-be carrier’s terrestrial network waiver.
LightSquared has asked the FCC n to impose future standards on GPS device design, claiming such requirements would allow GPS and its LTE network to co-exist peacefully. While LightSquared would appear to be taking the middle path, the proposal smacks of a political stunt.
LightSquared accused the commercial GPS industry of “rigging” government tests on the potential GPS interference problems of its LTE network and called for new rounds of tests from independent labs with no participation from GPS device makers.
Sprint has given its partner LightSquared 30 days to get regulators to green-light the launch of its controversial 4G service, but it may not be enough. If Sprint pulls out of the network-sharing deal, LightSquared’s costs multiply, almost certainly killing its rollout plans.
LightSquared isn’t just fighting the government and the GPS industry for the right to build its nationwide LTE network; it’s also fighting the clock. In a financial statement released to Reuters, LightSquared revealed it may run out of cash early next year.
LightSquared is giving up more of its network ambitions in hopes of winning FCC approval to launch LTE, but if it concedes too much it may find itself with no network left to build. That would be just fine with LightSquared’s critics in the GPS industry.
LightSquared is fighting for the life of its LTE network, as a government report emerging later this week questions if there’s any way its 4G network can coexist with millions of GPS devices. If the report’s findings stand, the repercussions could be felt throughout the industry.
Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) announced today that its UK unit has been awarded a license for the country