Sprint Nextel Terminates Spectrum Agreement with LightSquared

By Ed Silverstein March 16, 2012

Sprint Nextel has terminated a spectrum hosting agreement with LightSquared. The company is struggling against decisions by regulators who claim its LTE network interferes with GPS devices. If the issues are somehow resolved, Sprint Nextel could reach another agreement with LightSquared.

“Sprint has been and continues to be supportive of LightSquared’s business plans and appreciates the company’s efforts to find a resolution to the interference issues impacting its ability to offer service on the 1.6 GHz spectrum,” Sprint said in a statement.

“Late last year, both companies agreed to halt deployment design and implementation of LightSquared’s network to ensure that Sprint’s Network Vision project remained on schedule,” the statement added. “While unfortunate, termination of the agreement will have no impact on Sprint’s current customers and is not material to Sprint’s ongoing business operations. Network Vision remains on schedule and on budget, and we look forward to begin launching our 4G LTE network mid-year.”

In addition, Sprint Nextel will give back $65 million to LightSquared – which was part of the deal between the two companies.

LightSquared was not surprised by Sprint's actions, given how regulators responded to the network, the Associated Press reported. LightSquared wants to build a network for 260 million users. The company says it has invested more than $4 billion.

In a related matter, LightSquared claimed the Federal Communications Commission can’t block the wireless service, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. “We are not going away,” Jeff Carlisle, a LightSquared executive vice president, was quoted by Bloomberg.

GPS manufacturers and users claim the proposed network leads to interference, Bloomberg adds. But LightSquared contends the GPS equipment is “defective,” Bloomberg said. In addition, regulators “relied upon flawed and biased tests,” LightSquared told the FCC, according to Bloomberg. “No scientifically valid evidence exists that even 1 percent of GPS receivers would experience adverse performance consequences as a result of LightSquared’s operations.”

Several politicians and business leaders have sided with LightSquared. Wholesale service from LightSquared “will enhance competition significantly by facilitating the ability of new providers to enter local, regional and nationwide markets and serve customers,” Randolph Kantorowicz-Toro, chairman and CEO of iBanco Corp, said in a LightSquared statement. “Hundreds of millions of American consumers would benefit from the greater competition that would be made possible by LightSquared’s network,” Jerome S. Kaiser, vice president and chief financial officer of AirTouch Communications, added in the LightSquared statement.

LightSquared could bring the issue to a court battle, according to news reports. 




Edited by Chris Freeburn

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

4 Biohacking Facts You Should Know About in 2017

By: Special Guest    8/18/2017

When it comes to biohacking, a more recent development in science, it involves combining the idea of hacking with biology. In today's world, biohackin…

Read More

Rest Your Weary Fingers: Voice Activation is Coming to a CRM Near You

By: Special Guest    8/9/2017

We spend a lot of time talking to our gadgets these days. Whether we're seeking directions from Siri or weather updates from Alexa, speech is quickly …

Read More

Kevin Kennedy Stepping Down, Will New Leadership Help Guide Avaya Back into Prominence?

By: Erik Linask    8/7/2017

After more than eight years as Avaya's chief executive, Kevin Kennedy will be stepping down from that role as of October 1, 2017. He'll be replaced by…

Read More

Micro-CT Scans Allow Researchers to Study Live Insects in 3D

By: Kayla Matthews    8/7/2017

The things we don't know about the natural world could fill textbooks. That's why excitement is the most appropriate response when we discover new way…

Read More

Gogo Making Air Travel More Productive

By: Erik Linask    8/4/2017

Gogo created tremendous hype when it first enabled in-flight connectivity on American Airlines, back in 2008. But, anyone who has used in-flight Wi-Fi…

Read More