LightSquared begs FCC to let it use spectrum

Embattled US operator LightSquared (Reston, USA) has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US telecoms regulator, for permission to continue using frequencies that do not interfere with GPS systems while authorities address their concerns about its other spectrum holdings, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Embattled US operator LightSquared (Reston, USA) has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US telecoms regulator, for permission to continue using frequencies that do not interfere with GPS systems while authorities address their concerns about its other spectrum holdings, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

In a filing to the FCC, the company reportedly said it would stop using the 10MHz of frequencies that trouble the GPS industry. But it clearly believes there is room for compromise in future, saying it will co-operate with “operating parameters and revised rules for terrestrial use of this spectrum.”

The company also wants to be allowed to start using 5MHz of spectrum that has not posed any GPS concerns, and it has offered to share another 5MHz with federal government users.

As quoted by Dow Jones, LightSquared believes that FCC approval of its proposals “would enable LightSquared to immediately expand on its existing, multibillion-dollar investment to build a network that brings more competition, choice and access to hundreds of millions of American more quickly than any other potential new wireless network operator”.

The FCC has told Dow Jones that it does not comment on pending matters.

LightSquared filed for bankruptcy protection in May and has recently taken flak from a group of creditors who claim a pre-bankruptcy loan to the company favoured Phil Falcone, the owner, at the expense of others. They have been demanding that Falcone either sell LightSquared or pay them back immediately.

LightSquared ran into problems earlier this year when the National Telecommunications and Information Administration found that its technology might interfere with GPS systems.

The company had originally planned to provide wireless telecoms services to 260 million Americans by 2015, but is now burning through cash while its network goes unused.

Mr Falcone and his Harbinger Capital Partners (New York, USA) private-equity group, which have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in LightSquared, are being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly misappropriating client money and manipulating bond prices.

Falcone has insisted on his innocence and says he will fight all charges.