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4G/3G/WiFi

Government Agencies Blast LightSquared

LightSquared 's proposed LTE network cannot coexist peacefully with GPS, period, according to nine government agencies.

Known collectively as the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing committee, they delivered a letter to that effect to the U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday evening.

Referring to test results, including some from the Federal Aviation Administration, the agencies have concluded that LightSquared's network would interfere with GPS receivers. That's even after LightSquared's proposed signal modifications are taken into account.

In return, a LightSquared statement blasted the agencies Friday, claiming their actions "have demonstrated bias and inappropriate collusion with the private sector." In particular, the would-be 4G wholesale provider claimed that the committee dropped plans to test high-precision GPS filters, indicating a willingness to put "private sector interests ahead of their public responsibilities." Why this matters
They're fu... Er, rather, it's looking quite bad for LightSquared. The government black marks are mounting up, with powerful forces like the Department of Defense seemingly arrayed against the well-funded Harbinger Capital Partners LP -backed venture.

The operator is also under time pressure as network partner Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) gave it until the end of the month to square away the GPS issue with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . That deadline is looming with no resolution in sight.

For more
Read up on the latest on LightSquared:

— The Staff, Light Reading

kaps 12/5/2012 | 5:45:32 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared

So how exactly did Falcone make all those bucks if this is how his "due diligence" on LightScrewed is turning out? Aren't these things (spectrum interference) the kind of matters you are supposed to research before you invest?


I mean -- you have a better chance of seeing the broadcasters give up their spectrum for those "voluntary" auctions before Falcone and Co. ever get one tower working commercially. Hard to believe Ahuja signed on with this crew. Should we start the clock on his leaving "to pursue other interests" as of now?

kaps 12/5/2012 | 5:45:32 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared

So how exactly did Falcone make all those bucks if this is how his "due diligence" on LightScrewed is turning out? Aren't these things (spectrum interference) the kind of matters you are supposed to research before you invest?


I mean -- you have a better chance of seeing the broadcasters give up their spectrum for those "voluntary" auctions before Falcone and Co. ever get one tower working commercially. Hard to believe Ahuja signed on with this crew. Should we start the clock on his leaving "to pursue other interests" as of now?

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:45:22 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared

Maybe Falcone has found that greasing palms didn't work this time?  I'm sure some got a nice bonus out of all of this.


 


LightSquared is complaining about bias but everything they have ever said has turned out to be a lie.  First, no issues at all.  Then, well, there were issues but we won't use the amount of power that was used in that test.  Then that showed to be false but only high precision devices will have an issue.  Enough of the lies, the waiver was granted with conditions and they were not met.  The FCC should just say NO and end it.  LS cannot sue either as the waiver had conditions that must be met before any commercial deployment.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:45:16 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared



They could try, but the waiver did say that the issues had to be addressed to the satisfaction of the commission.  I cannot really see any legal recourse LightSquared thinks they might have.  If they pressure the FCC too much, it might work against them as they were filing false information in the reports.  How many times has LS changed their story?  The DOJ could take a hard look at LS and find many things that are not quite right.  Finding cases of fraud may not be all that hard to do and it wouldn’t be LS on the hook, but the executives of the company that find themselves in court.  There were other requirements that the FCC placed upon LS and one was that every month they had to file a report on the status of the interference issue.  I haven’t seen any reports that are publicly available since the FCC rescinded the waiver.  So if LS did try to bring legal actions against the FCC, they did violate the conditions of the waiver by not filing the reports, even after the FCC rescinded it.  At most, LS might be able to get FCC to reissue the waiver, but that buys them nothing.  They still would need to address the interference issues per the satisfaction of the commission.  Who says the FCC ever has to satisfied with the solution provided.  Overall, the waiver was a means to allow LS to show that their use of the spectrum they purchased when used with terrestrial antennas (instead of satellites) would not interfere with GPS.  That is all the waiver was, it was not a grant to build a network and offer commercial service.  The waiver made this quite clear.

 

From 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."

 

What legal leg does LS have to stand on?  They need to address the issue to the satisfaction of the commission.  Where was the copperative and candid discussions from LS as they lied every single change they had.  First, no interference issues at all.  The testing showed this to be false.  Followed by that they will not use the entire band which will solve the issue.  This was also proved to be false.  Then it was that the power output used was higher than that of what LS will use and there will be no interference issues.  This also proved to be false.  The FCC could easily use that as a reason to rescind the waiver.  The FCC could issue something like this:

LightSquared was not involved in cooperative or candid discussions about the nature of the interference issue and tried to hide that fact every chance they had.  By doing so, any future testing results will be viewed with great skepticism.  With all available test results, the commission has rescinded the waiver as the conditions were not met to our satisfaction and seem to be likely that the inference issue cannot be resolved.

 

All that does is put LS back to where they were, a satellite based network, which is how the spectrum was allocated to be.  The fact is, LS bought spectrum that no longer suits them.




joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:45:16 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared

They had another call today (long story coming soon), they claimed they could -- eventually -- have a legal recourse. They said A LOT though.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:45:15 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared



I saw that, but that is a stretch, a big stretch at that.  Maybe the solution, LS offers up the money, the FCC will have testing done by a secret vendor.  If the results confirm earlier results, the case is closed, permanently at that.  If the results paint a different picture, then changes are made to the coop and new testing is performed.




joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:45:15 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared

They say they're not talking about the FCC. But they do claim that the space committee is steered by a chair that is also on the board at Trimble.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:45:15 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared



I’ve read some of it.  They are saying the FCC is biased, but if that were true, then why was the waiver fast tracked to begin with?  It doesn’t add up.  The fact is, the test results show that LS has lied time and time again.  I think the DOJ should get a court order and subpoena their records.  I wonder what they will show, oh yeah, LS knew about the interference issues.  Next up, Philip Falcone being hit with charges of fraud.  I wonder how fast LS would back down if that happened.

Technically, they can’t give up; they have too much riding on it.  If they give up, they are done for.  So the people in charge will keep fighting and collecting that paycheck until the money is gone.  Anyway you put it, LS has a fight that they can’t win according to all of the test results.  In order for them to proceed, they need to prove without a shadow of a doubt that there won’t be any issues at all.  Another alternative to end it, have LS put it in writing that if any GPS device has an issue, the network must immediately be turned off.  So let LS build the network and as soon as it is switched on (and before commercially available) they will need to turn it off.  Will LS put billions where their mouth is?  Falcone would think twice, no?




joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:45:15 PM
re: Government Agencies Blast LightSquared

Well they sure aren't giving up yet! See today's latest blast from them. Oh boy!

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