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4G/3G/WiFi

FCC Lets LightSquared Pass 'Go'

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved LightSquared 's plan to provide an integrated satellite-terrestrial broadband service that will include terrestrial-only devices, if the Long Term Evolution (LTE) venture works with government agencies to deal with any potential interference issues with GPS receivers.

The 4G upstart, which is backed by Harbinger Capital Partners LP , put out a statement Tuesday about the FCC's approval of its service:

    LightSquared has received a decision from the FCC allowing the company to provide an integrated satellite-terrestrial broadband service that will include terrestrial-only devices. As a condition of this decision, LightSquared will establish a cooperative process to work with the FCC, NTIA and federal agencies, and industry to address and resolve issues relative to its network deployment.

There had been concerns that the venture's hybrid satellite and earthbound LTE system could possibly interfere with GPS receivers from vendors in that industry. LightSquared Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja sent out a letter Monday saying that the company would work with the government to fix any problems.

Why this matters
This decision removes a potential obstacle to LightSquared's planned deployment of its first commercial sites in the U.S. in the third quarter of this year. The company is currently conducting LTE trials in Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

What we don't know yet is what kind of fix -- if any -- is needed and how long it might take to implement any required workaround. LightSquared says it will be talking with Light Reading Mobile about this issue soon. We'll update the story with more details.

For more
Click below to find out more about LightSquared and fears of LTE interference below:

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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