Can LightSquared Hit Its New Deadline?

3:40 PM -- As of Sunday, LightSquared has an extra month from Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) to get Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval for the terrestrial Long Term Evolution (LTE) end of its hybrid satellite and 4G network.

This still seems like a tall order for the company to achieve, to me.

Consider this: The company expects to start testing high-precision devices in January. The crucial work could carry on into February.

Meanwhile, with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) now law, the Department of Defense now appears to have a say in the future of the network.

Seems like a lot to settle in 30 days, especially given that LightSquared has already been fighting the GPS industry for months on interference issues now.

Of course, now, with a revitalized Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) partnership in place and its own "Network Vision" plans for LTE underway, Sprint possibly doesn't need LightSquared as much as it once did.

"Sprint supports LightSquared’s business plans and efforts to resolve potential interference issues expediently," a spokesman for the operator tells LR Mobile via email. "That said, the agreement includes protections for Sprint relating to LightSquared’s requirement to receive FCC approvals."

If Sprint were to get L-Band spectrum if LightSquared fails to get approval, you have to wonder how valuable an asset that would even be. Sprint, however, would at least have much more time to sort out interference issues, as it doesn't essentially need the bandwidth until 2014 or 2015.

Meanwhile, time appears to be an ever-more rare and precious commodity for LightSquared.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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