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4G/3G/WiFi

Ides of March Looms for LightSquared

7:00 AM -- As their LTE partnership deadline of March 15 looms, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) plans to end its network-sharing agreement with LightSquared , according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday morning citing two people familiar with the deal. (See Sprint Gives LightSquared 'Til Mid-March.)

The symbolism of March 15, the Ides of March, just can't be ignored: Wouldn't this be the final, fatal blow for the already wounded, would-be U.S. LTE wholesaler?

But Sprint's deal termination probably doesn't make much of a difference to LightSquared's fate at this point: It has lost its CEO, after he slammed the FCC for not resolving the GPS interference issue; started to reduce its 330-strong workforce by 45 percent; failed to meet payment obligations to Inmarsat; and, ultimately, its LTE network plan didn't pass the conditional waiver stage at the FCC.

LightSquared should watch its back on March 15, but the outcome looks inevitable.

For more on the LightSquared saga:



— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

Flook 12/5/2012 | 5:40:21 PM
re: Ides of March Looms for LightSquared

With Sprint as Brutus and the FCC as Cassius....sorry, couldn't help stretching the analogy a bit. Still think it was mostly politics with the FCC regarding its LS decision.

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 5:40:20 PM
re: Ides of March Looms for LightSquared

Hey, why not? The whole March 15 thing is hard to resist.


I think you're right about the politics. And if LightSquared was US regulators' idea of injecting some extra competition into the market, then it was a poor attempt -- a policy fail. But I'm not sure that was ever the intent with LigthSquared really.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 5:40:15 PM
re: Ides of March Looms for LightSquared

If by "politics" you mean that LightSquared failed to properly assess what the reactions would be of a powerful established concern, I would agree. Whether or not you agree that telecommunications should be regulated, the reality is that it is -- and that incumbents with large businesses at risk will use regulatory leverage just like any other business method to gain advantage. Instead of hiring a big name CEO Falcone should have hired a few more telecom lawyers to figure out the GPS roadblock a little bit better.


Is lawyering an exact science? AT&T's failure on the T-Mobile acquisition front is a reminder that even the best in this department make mistakes. But LightSquared acted like it didn't understand what was hitting them, when they should have been out front on the predictable opposition with education. 

kaps 12/5/2012 | 5:40:15 PM
re: Ides of March Looms for LightSquared

If by "politics" you mean that LightSquared failed to properly assess what the reactions would be of a powerful established concern, I would agree. Whether or not you agree that telecommunications should be regulated, the reality is that it is -- and that incumbents with large businesses at risk will use regulatory leverage just like any other business method to gain advantage. Instead of hiring a big name CEO Falcone should have hired a few more telecom lawyers to figure out the GPS roadblock a little bit better.


Is lawyering an exact science? AT&T's failure on the T-Mobile acquisition front is a reminder that even the best in this department make mistakes. But LightSquared acted like it didn't understand what was hitting them, when they should have been out front on the predictable opposition with education. 

Flook 12/5/2012 | 5:40:14 PM
re: Ides of March Looms for LightSquared

As a strategy, I agree that they should have hired more lawyers--reminds me of the young MCI which, as its founder wryly noted, was a law firm with an antenna.

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