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LightSquared won't say die on LTE, demands reversal or spectrum from the FCC

LightSquared won't say die on LTE, demands reversal or spectrum from the FCC


LightSquared is demanding that the FCC reverse its decision or provide the company with new spectrum as it faces the possibility that it won't be able to launch its LTE network.

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If you've read any of the public statements that LightSquared has made in the ongoing saga of its attempted LTE launch, you've no doubt been struck by the sense of outrage emanating from the company. Sprint's decision today to "exercise its right" to back out of using LightSquared hasn't cowed the company, if anything it's made LightSquared even more apoplectic.

True, the company's press release about Sprint's decision was all roses, with phrases like "Sprint's decision will enhance our working capital" and "Sprint has been a valued partner." However, in another press release that was surely timed to coincide with Sprint's announcement, LightSquared once again lit into the FCC for its decision to nix the fledgling LTE network. It accuses the FCC of running afoul of "constitutional issues" in a "bait and switch by the federal government of historic scale."

The press release's purpose is to call out that LightSquared has appealed the FCC's proposed decision to not approve its LTE network. LightSquared contends that the FCC has spent seven years hinting that the network would be good to go and now, at the 11th hour, is changing its mind. The company also repeated its claim that the tests which revealed GPS interference were "based on a deeply flawed and biased testing processes of an entirely theoretical network that did not even resemble Lightsquared's actual network in basic respects." The company is demanding the FCC to either reconsider its decision or, as GigaOm reports, to provide LightSquared with "less controversial spectrum over which to launch its network."

LightSquared feels jilted and is understandably concerned about the "billions of dollars of investment capital" that's at stake here. Even so, Sprint is out of the picture as an ally and organizations like the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense, and even the American Soybean Association (agriculture is no small lobbying block) are all aligned against it. In that context, LightSquared's bluster is beginning to sound like the company knows that it's more likely to burn out than to fade away.