Wireless nightmares: The FCC denies LightSquared the ability to launch its commercial LTE network

(Editor's Note: The below is simply a possible outcome--one of many. It is intended as a lighthearted look at a possible executive nightmare. Meaning, this is not real.)

Harbinger Capital Partners head Philip Falcone:
The FCC denies LightSquared the ability to launch its commercial LTE network

Philip Falcone

LightSquared, backed by hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners and Phil Falcone, has been trying to build a wholesale LTE network for more than a year now. However, since concerns surfaced early this year that the company's plans for a terrestrial network would interfere with GPS receivers, its plans have been repeatedly been put on hold to allow for testing to address the interference concerns. LightSquared recently said that it has enough cash to operate through the first quarter of 2012, but it currently is unable to raise more money because of uncertainty from the FCC regarding the company's interference problem with high-precision GPS receivers.

The company has been battling the GPS community, which has vehemently opposed LightSquared's network and has argued that LightSquared is distorting the historical record to put itself in a more favorable light. The GPS industry argues that if LightSquared operates a nationwide terrestrial network in L-Band spectrum, that signal will overwhelm GPS receivers, especially for precision GPS devices, in adjacent spectrum.

LightSquared, in turn, has argued that the GPS industry should have known years ago that that it would build such a network and that GPS device manufacturers did not properly install filters on their devices to block LightSquared's signal. Regardless of the back and forth, the FCC and National Telecommunications and Information Administration continue to test the network, and indefinite tests could have as much of an impact as the FCC simply not allowing LightSquared to operate its network, which would mean Falcone would take billions of dollars in losses. Such a setback would mean that Falcone, who has criticized Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) of trying to undermine LightSquared, would not have a vehicle to compete with the Tier 1 players. 

   

Wireless nightmares: The FCC denies LightSquared the ability to launch its commercial LTE network
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