Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
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
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (5) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (0) comments


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Between the CEOs
Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
LRTV Documentaries
Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
LRTV Interviews
NFV: Ready for Prime Time

6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
LRTV Documentaries
Tykes Talk Tech

6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's in Your Office-in-a-Bag?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/26/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones