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   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive