LightSquared: Too Important to Fail?
LightSquared 's chairman and former CEO told an audience at the Rural Cellular Association Thursday that there is "too much at stake" for its bid to offer spectrum for 4G wholesale users to fail.
"LightSquared is not going to go away; we're going to continue to fight," LightSquared's Sanjiv Ahuja told the crowd at the Orlando, Fla., event, streamed live by RCR Wireless.
LightSquared's bid to offer a nationwide 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) for wholesale customers was shut down recently by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) because of interference issues in tests between L-Band base stations and GPS equipment. (See LightSquared CEO Calls FCC 'Irresponsible'.) The key reason Ahuja said the industry needs LightSquared is that without the L-Band and other spectrum initiatives, U.S. wireless operators -- especially the smaller ones -- are likely to run out of road within a few years because of the massive increase in data usage. "We're on track to run out of network capacity in a couple of years," Ahuja claimed.
Some of these comments were echoed by Cricket Communications Inc. and others at this show of operators, which basically now includes every U.S. wireless carrier except AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless . (See Cricket Wants to Chirp on Other 4G Networks.) "I don't need to preach at this audience that the dominant duopoly limits competition," Ahuja said.
The defiant keynote, however, was short on detail on what LightSquared might actually do to get the FCC's decision reversed and its LTE network back on track. A public comment period on the carrier's petition about its rights to use the spectrum licensed to it is due to close Friday. (See Public Sucked Into LightSquared Squabble .)
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