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Falcone’s LightSquared Says FCC Should Resolve Interference
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission can “find a way forward that enables LightSquared to operate,” Jeff Carlisle, executive vice president for the Reston, Virginia-based company, said in a conference call today.
The FCC last month said it would block LightSquared after the Obama administration found the service would disrupt navigation gear. Comments on the FCC’s proposed action were due today.
The agency should go ahead and rescind LightSquared’s authorization, Jim Kirkland, general counsel of navigation gear maker Trimble Navigation Ltd. (TRMB), said in an e-mail.
At issue are plans to let LightSquared operate a network of ground-based towers over airwaves previously reserved mainly for satellites.
Users and makers of global-positioning system gear say the network would cause interference. LightSquared says the GPS industry has produced defective equipment that improperly captures its signals.
LightSquared failed to show it won’t cause interference and is seeking “changes in the rules after the game is over,” Kirkland said in the statement issued by the Coalition to Save Our GPS. The group formed to oppose LightSquared’s plans includes Trimble, package shippers FedEx Corp. (FDX) and United Parcel Service Inc., GPS-unit maker Garmin Ltd. (GRMN), Delta Air Lines Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co., and farm-equipment maker Deere & Co. (DE)
Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) on March 16 said it canceled an agreement to help build LightSquared’s network, adding to concern about the venture’s viability and the fate of Falcone’s $3 billion investment in the business through his Harbinger Capital Partners (SKYT) hedge fund.
LightSquared has hired litigators as it gears up for a possible legal battle with regulators.
Tammy Sun, an FCC spokeswoman, didn’t provide a comment.
Harbinger managed $4 billion at the end of last year, down from a peak of $26 billion in mid-2008. It wrote down its LightSquared position by 59 percent last year because of the uncertainty over LightSquared approval.
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