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Sprint gives LightSquared another 30 days to seal LTE partnership with FCC approval

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LightSquared has been given 30 more days to gain FCC approval on its planned LTE network in order to meet its deadline to enter a partnership with Sprint.

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Sprint LightSquared slide
Sprint LightSquared slide

Sprint is proving to be a patient business partner: according to The Wall Street Journal, the carrier has extended the deadline for LightSquared to gain FCC approval on its proposed LTE network by 30 days. When the 15-year agreement was first announced this past summer, the companies expected to receive the go-ahead from Washington no later than December 31st. Of course, that was all before GPS-related concerns brought intense scrutiny upon LightSquared's plans.

At stake is the company's goal of a nationwide wholesale 4G network to be hosted by Sprint, the fruits of which would also be available to other LightSquared partners including Best Buy and Leap Wireless. The 1600MHz spectrum will also bolster the scope of Sprint's LTE deployment, which the carrier has already begun laying the groundwork on. For its part, LightSquared has emphatically rejected the idea of its network wreaking havoc on GPS tech and has proven willing to make some concessions to get the FCC's nod. With the deadline clock ticking anew, the company seems determined to get an answer soon — as evidenced by the petition it filed with the agency last month. While an unfavorable decision could potentially doom LightSquared, Sprint's aggressive Network Vision itinerary would likely find a way to survive; spectrum holdings in the 800 / 1900MHz bands and a renewed dedication to Clearwire make for a nice Plan B.