Hedge fund billionaire Philip Falcone’s LightSquared network hit a major roadblock yesterday as the Federal Communications Commission said it would reject the wireless service that could have disrupted signals used for global-positioning systems (GPS), according to the Associated Press.
The Wall Street Journal said LightSquared may try “to exchange its wireless airwave licenses for similar ones operated by the US Department of Defense” in one last effort to save plans for the broadband service.
According to Bloomberg, Falcone said in a statement, “This was not a decision based on science or technology but was a politically motivated decision fueled by special interest groups in the GPS and telecom industry.” He also said the company would continue to look for a solution that addressed the GPS interference problem.
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The FCC’s decision came after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said that LightSquared’s proposed network would interfere with several GPS devices, similar to how adjacent radio channels interfere with each other, reported the AP. LightSquared was planning to use a frequency adjacent to GPS.
LightSquared was meant to be a high-speed wireless broadband network which integrated satellite and terrestrial technology and would compete with fourth-generation (4G) wireless services like those soon to be launched by AT&T, Verizon and others.
The FCC had granted LightSquared a fast-track waiver in January 2011, said The New York Times Deal Book, in a bid to increase competition among wireless companies. Falcone has already invested billions into the company, and his options appear to be unpromising.
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Here is a video report on LightSquared from the AP: