LightSquared acquisition failure follows similar Clearwire, Sprint attempts
Dish Network will soon be ending a bid to acquire LightSquared, according to a report. The proposal, originally placed in May last year and said to be worth $2.2 billion, would have seen the satellite TV provider take control of LightSquared's L-band satellite spectrum and potentially use it for an LTE cellular network, though this is apparently no longer going to happen.
LightSquared, the company that attempted to build out a nationwide 4G network, has filed for bankruptcy in a Manhattan court on Monday. The project was met with resistance from regulators, who argued that the proposed spectrum would interfere with GPS signals. The company was facing other troubles, with its chief Philip Falcone, stepping down at the end of April at the request of the company's shareholders.
RIM hires experienced executives for COO, CMO roles
After what seems like nothing but job cuts and execs leaving, Canadian smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Tuesday announced it is naming two new executives to its team. The new Chief Operating Officer is Kristian Tear, while Frank Boulben has become the Chief Marketing Officer. Both are said to bring an abundant amount of mobile computing experience to the table. RIM President and CEO Thorsten Heins said the two have a strong understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.
LightSquared chief Falcone may
LightSquarted chief Philip Falcone is said to be stepping down from his position in order to buy time for his hedge-fund Harbinger Capital’s ambitious satellite-powered 4G LTE network. The concession could be enough to avert the likelihood that LightSquared will default on its debts, reports The Wall Street Journal. If supported, LightSquared’s lenders will agree to a one extension of its $1.6 billion in loans that expire on Monday morning.
LightSquared reworks contract with Inmarsat
LightSquared on Friday changed its agreement with Inmarsat, with the latter effectively extending the deadline for the payments LightSquared is responsible for. The company has already missed its $56.25 million Phase 1 payment, with Phase 2 due on April 1, 2014. The extension will give LightSquared time to try and resolve regulatory issues that are keeping it from launching its 4G LTE network.
Senators ask FCC to allocate band to LightSquared
Two senators have requested that the FCC allocate a new band of frequencies for LightSquared's national 4G network. Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Lindsey Graham have suggested to the FCC that they should allocate a seperate part of the spectrum for LightSquared to avoid the issues associated with sharing the GPS band in a letter received by The Hill.
Sprint cuts short LightSquared LTE network help
Sprint on Friday lived up to rumors and ended its LightSquared deal. The carrier decided against more than a second extension on the 4G startup's attempts to get its LTE network started. As part of the "contingencies" related to backtracking on the deal, Sprint would pay back the $65 million LightSquared had given to cover costs in advance, which Sprint said hadn't been used yet.
Carrier finally takes expected move
Corroborating recent leaks, Sprint has reportedly decided to put an official end to its collaboration with wireless broadband startup LightSquared. Unnamed sources have told (sub. required) The Wall Street Journal that Sprint will formally move to terminate the contract on Friday and refund LightSquared's $65 million prepayment.
Dish completes buyout of TerreStar, DBSD
Dish Network has now completed its court-approved purchases of satellite operators TerreStar and DBSD. The satellite TV provider plans to use the operators' wireless licenses to offer 4G cellular access and thus compete with cable TV and phone companies. This would be a first for a satellite provider, as they can't provide Internet access to many homes and when they can, the speeds aren't as fast as those offered by cable providers.
Sprint may brook no more LightSquared extensions
Sprint may simply drop its deal with LightSquared next week after its partner's troubles grew too large, a leak indicated Wednesday morning. Bloomberg had heard from sources that Sprint's extension to mid-March for the multi-billion dollar 4G deployment deal would likely be the last. Barring a last-minute reprieve, LightSquared would have to deploy its LTE network on its own after March 15.
Sanjiv Ahuja resigns as CEO of LightSquared
LightSquared, the hopeful wireless network operator fighting to use spectrum that's said to be interfering with GPS signals, has now lost its CEO, Sanjiv Ahuja, who resigned. The news follows the company's decision to cut 45 percent of its workforce last week. Ahuja will continue to be the chairman of the board for the company, however.
LightSquared slashes jobs to last longer
LightSquared took big steps Tuesday to shore up its finances to brace for a long-term struggle over GPS interference claims with its 4G. The company planned to cut 45 percent of its 330-person workforce. In a statement, the LTE hopeful made clear that it was to buy time for the company to challenge the FCC and potentially get its network running.
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.
Harbinger suied for LightSquared denial
LightSquared faced even deeper possible consequences from its revoked 4G network permission Friday after investors sued its parent company, Harbinger Capital Partners, for allegedly wasting money in the deal. Movie producer Lili Schad and others accused Harbinger of being "deceptive and misleading" by promising the LTE-based network only to have it rejected by the FCC over GPS interference concerns. Harbinger founder Philip Falcone (pictured) and his company either knew or were careless in ignoring that GPS would be a problem, the lawsuit said, and were costing investors "substantially all" of the money they had invested.
LightSquared considering DOD spectrum swap?
The LightSquared saga continues, with the latest having the company founder and billionaire Phil Falcone attempting to swap spectrum with the US Department of Defense, the Wall Street Journal claimed. The purported move is a last-ditch effort to make the network work, after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said there is no way to make the network work without interfering with GPS signals. If the DOD spectrum swap doesn't go through, Falcone may look into selling the existing spectrum.
Will have to repay if FCC maintains work stoppage
Yesterday the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) advised the FCC that LighSquared's implementation of its LTE network "inavoidably" would interfere with GPS signals and recommended that the company not be allowed to continue with its deployment. The FCC then followed up by keeping in place a temporary stop to the wireless backbone provider's build out. A collateral consequence of the FCC's actions is that Sprint may have to repay $65 million back to Lightsquared that it received as part of its $9 billion deal with the beleaguered company.
FCC maintains prohibition on LightSquared tech
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which manages government and commercial spectrum management in the US, has determined that interference between LightSquared's LTE network and existing GPS equipment is "unavoidable." The ruling appears to solidify the government's opposition to the technology, which has been shown to jam GPS receivers.
Startup places blame on GPS industry
LightSquared has asked the Federal Communications Commission to consider new regulations for GPS devices to avoid interference with the startup's 4G network. The company has continued to argue that the GPS industry is to blame for the lingering interference issues, as GPS receivers lack sufficient signal filters to avoid being jammed by terrestrial LTE transmitters that use L-band spectrum that LightSquared has licensed.
Sprint gives LightSquared short leash on GPS issue
Sprint in comments Tuesday revealed it had given LightSquared one more deadline extension for it to get FCC approval. The would-be 4G network had until mid-March to get clearance, a Sprint representative explained to Total Telecom. It had already been given an extension this month that had already run dry.
FCC asks for input on LightSquared call
The FCC on Monday began taking public comments on a LightSquared request to drop shelters protecting GPS from interference from the would-be provider's LTE network. Following LightSquared's accusations of bias, the FCC has put out a notice that will see it compile commentary by February 27 and responses to those comments by March 13. LightSquared executive VP Jeff Carlisle told Bloomberg that he was "extremely pleased" with the move.
Could pressure LTE provider to sell off assets
Veteran corporate raider/investor Carl Icahn may have grabbed some of LightSquared's debt. Reuters, citing several sources familiar with the matter, reports that Icahn, along with two others, bought up a total of $300 million of the troubled LTE network provider's loan obligations over the course of 2011. Icahn has declined to comment.
LightSquared insists conspiracy to block its 4G
LightSquared in a hostile message accused US agencies on Friday of "bias and collusion" for finding interference with GPS in LightSquared's proposed 4G LTE network. It argued that the government had made a questionable deal with GPS proponent Trimble for testing that "deliberately" excluded LightSquared from testing. As part of the accusations, it had on Wednesday complained to NASA's Investigator General that Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board member Dr. Brad Parkinson was inherently biased against LightSquared as a director of Trimble.
Startup faces ongoing interference concerns
Sprint has reportedly halted its investments in the troubled startup LightSquared, amid concerns that the latter company will encounter further difficulty securing an operating license. In comments at a Citigroup conference, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse voiced hope that LightSquared can overcome interference issues and move forward with plans to launch a nationwide 4G network.
Sprint gives late extension to LightSquared
Sprint waited until Sunday to give LightSquared a 30-day extension on the FCC approval it needs to implement the LightSquared deal. Waiting until the day after the deadline expired, Sprint now gave the 4G provider until late January to overcome GPS interference claims. It's not clear LightSquared will necessarily make the deadline given a lack of firm updates.
LightSquared 4G said in danger of closing shop
New details have suggested that LightSquared might run out of money by mid-2012. A copy of the 4G provider's financial statement obtained by Reuters showed that it was worried it couldn't stay a "going concern" past the spring without extra finances. LightSquared has lost $427 million so far this year
Company still faces opponents
Just one week after a leaked draft of a government report pointed to ongoing interference problems with LightSquared's network, the US Department of Defense and Department of Transportation have issued a joint statement echoing the concerns. The agencies claim the network will not interfere with cellphones, however it has demonstrated "harmful interference to the majority of other tested general purpose GPS receivers."
Sharp and LightSquared make LTE hardware deal
LightSquared landed a key deal Monday for Sharp to supply devices. Carriers using LightSquared's LTE-based 4G network will have optimized smartphones and tablets. The newcomer didn't mention which devices, but Android hardware such as the seven-inch Galapagos tablet and high-end smartphones like the Aquos 104SH are candidates.
LightSquared makes multi-year deal with AirTouch
Wholesale 4G network carrier LightSquared this week said it was giving access to its network to AirTouch Communications. The multi-year deal will allow AirTouch to sell voice, data, video and even traditional landline services, letting it behave like a full MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). AirTouch will offer its existing devices through LightSquared's other existing partners.
Sprint to transition to LTE from WiMAX next year
Sprint's October 7 Strategy Update is likely to be used to unveil a gradual switch to LTE for its 4G, insiders tipped on Tuesday. Going beyond just its LightSquared pact, the carrier was reported by CNET as already deploying and field testing LTE. The new network would go live in early 2012 as part of an expanded Network Vision plan, where it consolidates CDMA, 3G, and 4G all on the same cell sites.
LightSquared has tech to solve GPS-4G interference
LightSquared during a call on Wednesday that it had developed a fix for its GPS interference complaints. Working with an unnamed top GPS company, it hoped to rebuff GPS industry criticism with an example of GPS technology that could get an accurate position lock without running up against LightSquared's LTE wireless. The change runs on existing hardware and is "affordable," executive regulatory VP Jeff Carlisle said.
LightSquared exec calls FCC issue a technical one
LightSquared executive Jeffrey Carlisle had to defend his company's new proposal to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, downplaying their concerns about possible GPS wireless device interference. LightSquared is attempting to pay $9 billion to Sprint to build a national wireless spectrum that could then be sold off to cable and other clients who want to add a wireless service to their offerings. The FCC also got knocked by a witness for granting LightSquared a waiver to operate a primarily terrestrial network using what was meant to be primarily satellite spectrum operating on low-power levels without knowing all the facts on the potential impact.
Sprint Strategy Update event hits NYC October 7
Sprint late Monday sent out invitations for a Strategy Update event on October 7. The New York City event has few details and will have presentations from executives followed by a question-and-answer session. Topics for the gathering weren't given out, although it's implied that it's a broader corporate move.
Dish asks FCC to grant hybrid network permission
Dish Network is asking the FCC to allow it to combine the S-Band spectrum licenses it acquired with its $1.38 billion purchase of TerreStar Networks and DBSD North America to offer terrestrial-only devices. This is part of a larger goal of offering a satellite-terrestrial 4G network that uses LTE-Advanced. Dish claims this hybrid network that will use the 40MHz spectrum under a subsidiary called Gamma will help meet the FCC's goal of expanding broadband access. Dish cited the conditional waiver the FCC gave to LightSquared as a reason it should get its request granted.
LightSquared claims GPS field breaking rules
LightSquared late Thursday sent a letter to the FCC (below) blaming the entire GPS industry for its 4G interference trouble. It accused many companies of breaking the Department of Defense's 2008 filtering guidelines for GPS reception. If companies had filtered out nearby frequencies like suggested, they wouldn't have the issue, the LTE Internet startup argued.
LightSquared investor cries foul
Harbinger fund manager Philip Falcone claims AT&T and Verizon are secretly collaborating to undermine LightSquared. The companies are accused of unfairly using their power to kill LightSquared's chances of successfully completing its plans to build an LTE network, which would directly compete with 4G networks from major wireless providers.
Clearwire jumps to LTE as main 4G
Clearwire up-ended WiMAX with news Wednesday that it would make LTE and LTE Advanced its primary 4G formats. The rollout will give it peak speeds of 120Mbps or more using the same 2.5GHz frequencies and network that it already uses. While it will be LTE at first, it will be upgradeable to LTE Advanced when it becomes available and hit "at least" 100Mbps.
Sprint makes 15-year pact with LightSquared for 4G
Sprint as part of its results confirmed its repeatedly rumored deal with LightSquared and gave a clue it might use LTE for 4G in the future. The terms of the 15-year deal will see LightSquared pay Sprint $9 billion over 11 years for use of its wireless spectrum and network hardware. In return, Sprint would have the option of buying up to half of LightSquared's 4G capacity on the L-Band, "should Sprint elect to incorporate the L-Band LTE capability," the carrier said in a strong hint.
CEO gives opinions on tiered data pricing
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse suggests the carrier later in the fall will be ready to announce significant plans surrounding its 4G deployments, though the executive has yet to confirm rumors pointing to a LightSquared deal for an LTE network. Speaking to visitors at Sprint's headquarters in Kansas, Hesse also added to his commentary on the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, claiming that he feels a personal obligation to oppose the deal and push for competition in the marketplace.
Sprint waits for Q2 results to back Lightsquared
Sprint will wait until it reveals its latest fiscal results to confirm its LightSquared sharing deal, insiders explained Wednesday. The cell carrier should use its July 28 financials to confirm that LightSquared will be paying to use Sprint's cell sites while it grows its 4G LTE network. Terms weren't divulged to CNET but are rumored to involve $20 billion over 15 years.
Company initially targeting rural areas
LightSquared has announced a new endeavor, labeled the Empower Rural America Initiative, that aims to resolve interference problems with GPS signals. Although the wireless broadband company has already voiced intentions to bring its services to rural markets, the initiative brings a new focus on overcoming the interference issues that have drawn criticism from the GPS industry.
Investment over past 12 months tops $2.3 billion
Infrastructure provider LightSquared has secured an additional $265 million in financing to help the company continue to build out its wholesale 4G LTE wireless broadband and satellite network. This is in addition to the over $2.1 billion that the company has already raised in the past 12 months. The financing was funded by current investor Harbinger Capital Investors, as well as additional existing and new partners.
LightSquared submits new GPS report to FCC
Wireless telecommunications start-up LightSquared on Thursday filed a report with the FCC that details any potential interference issues its launch would have with existing GPS services, according to a Thursday report. The GPS community opposes LightSquared's plans to build a high-speed wireless network. LightSquared has promised to use a different batch of airwaves that it says would eliminate 99.5 percent of the interference problems found in tests.
Company to use different block of spectrum
LightSquared has reportedly backtracked from its initial position regarding interference with GPS technology. Although the company previously denied that its LTE network would cause problems for GPS receivers, early tests proved critics were correct in assuming the signals would conflict with navigation equipment. To alleviate ongoing concerns, LightSquared is shifting its deployment strategy to avoid transmitting using the spectrum block adjacent to the frequencies utilized by GPS satellites.
Companies to share cost of network expansion
LightSquared, a wireless provider backed by Harbinger Capital, has reportedly signed a deal with Sprint, outlining terms for cost sharing as the companies collaborate to launch and expand a 4G LTE network in the US. Recent rumors suggest the deal may be worth a total of $20 billion and span 15 years, during which time Sprint will be able to take advantage of LightSquared's wireless broadband service.
Deal bigger and longer than expected
Recently, LightSquared and Sprint have been rumored to be closing in a long term arrangement for LightSquared to rent out part of Sprint's wireless network backbone for its own 4G service. The deal now appears to be both bigger and longer term than originally anticipated based on leaks late Thursday. Over the next 15 years, LightSquared could pay up to a total of $20 billion, Bloomberg heard.
LightSquare finalizing 4G deal with Sprint
Up and coming 4G provider LightSquared is on the verge of completing its network sharing deal with Sprint, according to tips Wednesday. The nearly done deal would see LightSquared pay $2 billion every year for the next eight years to rent out Sprint's equipment for its own service. It wasn't evident from the Reuters tip when it would likely go live, though Sprint had pointed to further news about its network near the start of the second half of the year.
Clearwire talks about LTE switchover with Sprint
During an earnings conference call this week, acting Clearwire CEO John Stanton revealed the company is engaged in talks with Sprint regarding using its upcoming LTE network. This helps support an earlier rumor that would help Sprint move from providing a Mobile WiMAX network to an LTE one with much-needed capital. Stanton said Clearwire won't be officially announcing its intentions until Sprint makes its own public commitment to revamp its network, expected to come this summer.
Sprint said near LightSquared, Clearwire deals
Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin claimed on Thursday that Sprint would have its deal with LightSquared and a new deal with Clearwire could be ready in weeks. He expected the deal, which would let LightSquared lease access to all of Sprint's cell sites for an LTE-based 4G network, would be done within a month. Clearwire's deal would focus on getting new wholesale pricing and would probably follow afterwards.
Time Warner Cable said testing WiMAX phone
Time Warner Cable might dip its toes into its own high-end WiMAX smartphone after an inside leak was corroborated late Thursday. The unnamed hardware was in testing and would use Sprint's CDMA network for voice with Clearwire's network handling the WiMAX for 4G data. Few details were available to FierceWireless' sources, though it's presumed this would be an Android device.
Service initially available for 23 computers
Best Buy has announced that its Connect mobile broadband service has been expanded with new options for 4G connectivity via Clearwire's WiMAX network. The 4G service will initially be offered on 23 different computers sold at Best Buy locations throughout the country, including models from companies such as Asus, Dell, HP, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba