LightSquared asks FCC for stricter GPS gear standards

LightSquared, the hedge fund-backed company planning to build a nationwide wireless broadband network to compete with AT&T and Verizon Wireless, is asking the Federal Communications Commission to set stricter technical rules for GPS devices.

Today, the company, which has invested billions of dollars to build a wireless broadband network that will blanket the U.S., filed a document with the FCC asking the agency to begin a rule-making process that will enforce strict standards on GPS devices, so that these devices will not inadvertently receive signals that are coming from adjacent spectrum bands.

For more than a year, … Read more

Sprint gives LightSquared until March to get FCC approval

Sprint Nextel said it will give LightSquared an additional six weeks to get approval to build its nationwide 4G LTE wireless network from the Federal Communications Commission or it will terminate its agreement with the company, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

A Sprint spokesman told Dow Jones that the company had given LightSquared until mid-March to resolve concerns that its network interferes with GPS receivers. Sprint had already given LightSquared a 30-day extension to get FCC approval at the end of 2011.

A LightSquared representative confirmed that an extension had been granted. And he reiterated LightSquared's commitment to completing … Read more

Is AT&T jockeying for Dish's wireless spectrum?

AT&T appears to be laying groundwork for a potential deal with Dish Network to get its hands on the satellite provider's newly acquired wireless spectrum.

Last week, AT&T flexed some muscle with the federal government in an attempt to make Dish's wireless spectrum--which it acquired last year for $2.8 billion via deals with two failed wireless companies, DBSD North America and TerreStar Networks--harder for Dish to use and easier for some other company to acquire.

Specifically, AT&T asked the FCC not to place any "restrictions on the transfer and/… Read more

LightSquared says GPS interference testing was rigged

LightSquared, the company seeking final FCC approval to build a nationwide 4G wireless wholesale network, said that a test showing interference between its service and GPS systems was rigged by manufacturers of GPS receivers and government workers to produce bogus results.

On a conference call Wednesday with reporters, LightSquared executives Jeffrey Carlisle and Geoff Stearn, along with paid consultant Ed Thomas, a former chief engineer at the Federal Communications Commission, said that recent tests conducted by the Air Force Space Command on behalf of the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Executive Committee (PNT EXCOM) were set up to produce negative … Read more

LightSquared taps new merger-focused financial chief

LightSquared today appointed Marc Montagner, a veteran of major telecommunications deals, to the role of chief financial officer.

Montagner's appointment may signal LightSquared's willingness to strike a deal or partnership. One of Montagner's prior roles was the head of merger-and-acquisition activities for Sprint, helping to usher in the $70 billion merger with Nextel back in 2005. He was also co-head of Banc of America Securities' telecom, media and technology merger group.

Montagner had been executive vice president of sales, marketing, and strategy at SkyTerra, which was absorbed by LightSquared in 2010. LightSquared plans to take advantage of … Read more

LightSquared to FCC: Give us our approval now

LightSquared is done with the government's hemming and hawing, and is pressuring for approval to use its spectrum to build a next-generation wireless network.

In the company's most aggressively worded message to the Federal Communications Commission, LightSquared argues that the GPS industry has no right to seek protection from the potential interference that LightSquared's network could cause. It said today that it has filed a petition seeking a declaratory ruling confirming its rights as a spectrum licensee. The company has been battling the perception that its network could possibly cripple critical GPS devices--hurting planes, farming equipment, and … Read more

Feds release report citing LightSquared interference with GPS

LightSquared's wireless network will interfere with a "majority" of GPS devices, according to a report from federal officials.

The official report released late yesterday, showed that the LightSquared network still caused harmful interference in a majority of general-purpose GPS receivers, according to Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Space-based Positioning, Navigation and Timing, an advisory committee made up of government and industry.

The Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense joined in the statement issued on Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration conducted separate testing, and it also found that LightSquared's network interferes … Read more

LightSquared blasts 'selective and skewed' data leak

LightSquared believes someone has it out for the startup and its efforts to build a 4G LTE network.

The latest stumbling block came last week in the form of a leak of a preliminary government report, which revealed that the company hadn't settled the concerns that it could disrupt the signal of a large number of personal and military GPS devices.

LightSquared's general counsel, Curtis Lu, blasted the leak, noting that only the negative portions of the tests were shown, and that the conclusions were based on incorrect assumptions.

"The leak was designed to subvert the fairness … Read more

LightSquared network still harms GPS, says draft report

LightSquared's planned 4G wireless network caused "harmful interference" to the majority of GPS receivers used in recent government testing of the network, according to reports citing a draft version of the test results.

LightSquared plans to offer network services like wholesale Internet access to companies such as Best Buy, but concerns about the network knocking out personal or military GPS devices have been raised by the Defense Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, and GPS companies and users. The LightSquared network uses frequencies that are near to those used by GPS devices.

In response to earlier tests, the … Read more

Sprint reportedly near new deal with Clearwire

Sprint Nextel is nearing a deal to extend its current network-sharing agreement with Clearwire to three to five years, Bloomberg reported today.

The deal would allow Sprint to tap into Clearwire's network and wireless capacity to power its own services. For Clearwire, it provides a measure of confidence in the company's long-term prospects. Sprint, meanwhile, secures another resource as it pursues its own 4G course.

Sprint said yesterday it had reached a non-binding agreement to work together on the technical specifications for Clearwire's planned upgrade to 4G LTE. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the agreement serves as … Read more