updated 03:25 pm EST, Mon February 20, 2012
Could lose spectrum most needed for GPS workaround
LightSquared has failed to make a $56.25 million payment to UK satellite operator Inmarsat. The payment was to be the first of several payments, totaling $175 million for the year to be payed by LightSquared to Inmarsat, in a deal struck between the two in 2007, for access to spectrum. If LightSquared doesn't pay, Inmarsat can legally end the deal.
Last week, LightSquared's efforts to build out its LTE network were put on a possibly permanent hold after a decision by the FCC that LightSpeed's LTE transmissions interfered with GPS signals used by consumers, the military and air traffic. Inmarsat's bandwidth is especially critical to LightSquared because it runs over blocks of the spectrum least likely to cause interference with GPS.
LightSquared has denied that it's responsible for creating interference and has gone so far as to accuse government agencies of allowing vested interests to rig findings to protect the GPS industry. Talk has existed of the company possibly suing the FCC and other agencies, although this likely wouldn't come in time to avoid a mid-March deadline for getting help from Sprint. [via PCWorld]