LightSquared With $1.25 Billion Asks U.S. for Mobile LicensesTodd Shields
Wireless venture LightSquared Inc., emerging from bankruptcy, asked U.S. regulators to clear the way for its renewed quest to set up a mobile broadband service covering the U.S.
Regulators should transfer airwaves licenses to the entity to be known as New LightSquared, a company subsidiary said in an April 6 filing posted Tuesday on the website of the Federal Communications Commission.
LightSquared last month won U.S. court permission to exit bankruptcy protection, where it has been stalled since 2012 when regulators said its wireless broadband service would interfere with GPS global-positioning navigation technology.
The new company will have $1.25 billion in operating funds to help “make full use of its spectrum to provide existing and innovative services,” according to the FCC filing.
Requests to avoid interference to GPS by using different airwaves remain pending at the FCC, the company said in its filing.
Leaders of New LightSquared are to include Ivan Seidenberg, a former chairman of Verizon Communications Inc., and Reed Hundt, a former FCC chairman, said the filing.
As recently as March 17, a U.S. lawyer told the bankruptcy court the FCC still can’t predict whether it will approve use of the spectrum.
In its FCC filing, LightSquared said it plans to leave bankruptcy by the end of the year and it asked the agency for quick action.
Kim Hart, an FCC spokeswoman, had no comment.
The filing “is the next step in completing the company’s exit from bankruptcy,” said Gerry Waldron, a lawyer for LightSquared. “We look forward to working with the FCC and other stakeholders to put this spectrum to use for the American consumer.”
Lightsquared won court permission to wrap up its bankruptcy after a trial in which hedge fund investors and Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charles Ergen jousted over the value of the company’s airwaves, estimating them at $4.5 billion and higher. At one point in 2013, Ergen was the only bidder for the company’s assets, offering $2.22 billion. He later withdrew the offer.