LightSquared announces spectrum agreement with Deere & Co.

LightSquared announced an agreement with Deere & Company that it hopes will create a framework it can use to settle its conflicts with other players in the GPS industry.

LightSquared finally emerged from a lengthy bankruptcy proceeding Monday after gaining approval from the FCC to transfer its spectrum licenses to a newly formed company called New LightSquared. 

Under its new agreement with Deere, the new company said it agreed to reduce out-of-band emissions from currently authorized levels and to file an FCC request forgoing terrestrial use on parts of its spectrum. Deere in turn agreed not to object to LightSquared's plans to deploy terrestrial LTE services in the L-band.

The companies also finalized a deal to settle a lawsuit between them. The agreement marks the first such deal between LightSquared and one of the GPS companies that claim LightSquared's technology causes interference problems with their services.

"We will provide increased protections for Deere's interests by agreeing to power levels on our uplink and downlink frequencies, dialing down our out-of-band emissions, and by requesting that the FCC modify our license to forgo terrestrial use of the downlink band closest to the GPS signal," LightSquared's CEO, Doug Smith, said in a prepared statement. "We believe this agreement sets forth the framework that enables GPS and broadband to peacefully coexist, and we will continue to work with industry and government stakeholders to reach consensus that enables this spectrum to be utilized."

LightSquared launched five years ago with hopes of building a wholesale, nationwide LTE network integrating terrestrial towers and satellites, essentially serving as a white-label 4G provider for other brands. But the frequencies it hoped to use are near GPS frequencies, and the FCC revoked LightSquared's conditional spectrum license to operate due to unresolved concerns regarding interference with GPS receivers.

The FCC's move forced LightSquared into bankruptcy, from which it emerged earlier this week. The company still must resolve technical and legal conflicts with GPS firms including Garmin and Trimble before it can build a network.

For more:
- see this LightSquared press release

Related articles:
FCC approves LightSquared's request to transfer spectrum licenses
LightSquared, Trimble to seek settlement over GPS interference disputes
LightSquared reports settlement talks with Deere, Trimble, but not with Garmin

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