Light Reading
While Harbinger chief Philip Falcone seeks a spectrum swap that could save the day for the would-be wholesale 4G provider

LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
2/16/2012
50%
50%

LightSquared 's CEO struck back at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's decision this week to block the company's Long Term Evolution (LTE) network plan. (See FCC Moves to Block LightSquared .)

CEO Sanjiv Ahuja released a statement Thursday saying that leaving the GPS interference issue unresolved is "the height of bureaucratic irresponsibility," while stressing that the venture remains committed to finding a solution to the problem:

    After years of receiving regulatory approvals, the FCC approved LightSquared to build its ground network in 2005. In 2010, the FCC amended that plan, requiring LightSquared to build a national broadband network that reached 260 million Americans. At the government’s mandate, LightSquared began investing billions of dollars in America’s infrastructure -- without asking for any money from the American taxpayer. Yesterday, after LightSquared had already spent nearly $4 billion, the FCC changed its mind. There can be no more devastating blow to private industry and confidence in the consistency of the FCC’s decision-making process.


Philip Falcone, head of the Harbinger Capital Partners LP fund that backs LightSquared, meanwhile, is reportedly seeking a spectrum swap so that the operator can try to push its plans forward. Bloomberg is quoting sources that the billionaire is seeking a swap with the defense department.

Why this matters
Despite a seemingly fatal blow to its plans from the FCC, it is becoming clear that LightSquared is not ready to give up on its plans just yet.

For more
Light Reading Mobile has followed LightSquared's regulatory roller coaster through its many ups and downs:



— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:26 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


Always a good move to call out the only agency that holds any possibility (however remote) of saving your company's bacon.

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:26 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


This follows the brilliant strategy of accusing AT&T and Verizon for conspiring to get the gubmint to work against LightSquared. Whether it's true or not, by doing so you indirectly accuse Congress of being on the take. Again, not a recipe for success. But it does keep the LightSquared self-immolation streak alive.

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:26 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


This follows the brilliant strategy of accusing AT&T and Verizon for conspiring to get the gubmint to work against LightSquared. Whether it's true or not, by doing so you indirectly accuse Congress of being on the take. Again, not a recipe for success. But it does keep the LightSquared self-immolation streak alive.

joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:25 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


Yep, this whole thing might be an economics/politics/technology 101 lesson in years to come.

Flook
50%
50%
Flook,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:24 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


I am not sure LightSquared is entirely to blame if, in fact, the FCC sent out the wrong signals, in effect stringing the company along--inadvertantly, of course. And there is this from the Washington Post: "...the company will soon have to cough up interest payments on $1.6 billion in secured loans and hundreds of millions in debt."


Still, given the compay's plan was to wholesale it services to operators that don't have the resources or do not want to take the risk of building out a national LTE network, I hope there is middle ground to work things out because, in the end, consumers will be the losers by this decision.


 


 


 

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:23 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


I don't know how much consumers are really losing out. We never, ever heard a compelling business plan from anyone involved... wholesale sounds great, but in a business where profit margins are tightening and the easy cash from voice/text is going away, a wholesale customer would have to:


1) Strike some sort of device deal to offer competitive handsets


2) Spend lots of dough on consumer marketing to explain the service


3) Figure out how to make money when it has to do the above, then figure out a payment/billing/support system AND pay LightSquared


4) and then compete against AT&T and Verizon, who could cut prices for a year or more and eat the loss in order to stave off anything truly competitive.


What wholesale brand could pull this off? I believe there are possible interesting plays out there like Wireless Republic but... hard to say anyone was harmed because this grab at spectrum didn't work out. 

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:23 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


I don't know how much consumers are really losing out. We never, ever heard a compelling business plan from anyone involved... wholesale sounds great, but in a business where profit margins are tightening and the easy cash from voice/text is going away, a wholesale customer would have to:


1) Strike some sort of device deal to offer competitive handsets


2) Spend lots of dough on consumer marketing to explain the service


3) Figure out how to make money when it has to do the above, then figure out a payment/billing/support system AND pay LightSquared


4) and then compete against AT&T and Verizon, who could cut prices for a year or more and eat the loss in order to stave off anything truly competitive.


What wholesale brand could pull this off? I believe there are possible interesting plays out there like Wireless Republic but... hard to say anyone was harmed because this grab at spectrum didn't work out. 

3screenplanet
50%
50%
3screenplanet,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:19 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


Sorry Kaps, the harm to consumers is that the hosejob the FCC just pulled on LightSquared discourages future private investment.  Yeah, yeah.  You think that entrepreneurs will always take a shot.  And you're right.  But the shot they'll take isn't investing in a consumer-friendly business but focusing on which FCC member or Congressman to buy off (e.g. Tom Petri - head of the Aviation Subcommittee that also shafted LightSquared).  In that case, consumer good isn't just beside the point, it's non-existent. 


Whether LightSquared had any shot at success is irrelevant.  They invested billions in private capital and got hosed by the gubmint.  If only they were bankrolled on the taxpayer dime a la Solyndra.  Then LightSquared would've had a chance.

krishanguru143
50%
50%
krishanguru143,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:15 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'




How did the FCC string them along?  Did you actually read the CONDITIONAL waiver?  The word CONDITIONAL is a very clear sign that it is in no way the go ahead.  If you read the waiver, it laid the groundwork for what LightSquared was REQUIRED to accomplish to get approval to offer commercial services.

 

Here is part of the waiver:

"41. We agree on the need to address the potential interference concerns regarding GPS as

LightSquared moves forward with plans to deploy and commence commercial operations on its

network. 144 Further, we believe that establishing a working group that brings LightSquared and the GPS community together to address these interference issues expeditiously would serve the public interest.

 

We envision a working group in which cooperative and candid discussions can ensue, and where information, including proprietary information, can be shared among the participants with appropriate measures in place to protect the confidentiality of that information. Commission staff will work with NTIA, LightSquared, and the GPS community, including appropriate Federal agencies, to establish a working group to fully study the potential for overload interference to GPS devices and to identify any measures necessary to prevent harmful interference to GPS. As a condition of granting this waiver, the process described below addressing the interference concerns regarding GPS must be completed to the Commission’s satisfaction before LightSquared commences offering commercial service pursuant to this waiver on its L-band MSS frequencies."

 

The key part, the very last sentence.  LightSquared NEVER had approval, the FCC NEVER changed their mind.  It was LightSquared who failed to address the interference issues.  Is it the fault of the FCC that LightSquared was making these huge plans, launching a satellite, etc. in the anticipation of approval?  No, it was the fault of LightSquared.  The sole discretion was at the hands of the commission and clearly to get their approval, there could be no interference at all.  All LightSquared kept talking about was this waiver and not once did they even call it a conditional waiver.  This waiver was called a conditional waiver in it as well as by the FCC.  If LightSquared wants someone to blame, they need to look no further than themselves.




Flook
50%
50%
Flook,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:42:12 PM
re: LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'


In which case my question is how could LightSquared have been so dumb--that includes the hedge fund that provided the company $3 billion? And was Sprint that dumb too? Some of the stuff I've been reading, e.g. Forbes, indicates that old fashioned DC politics had a lot to do with this.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
Exclusive: Microwave Maven Exalt Is Cooked
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
EMC Mulls Merger With HP or Dell – Reports
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed