Sprint gives LightSquared March deadline to gain FCC approval for LTE networkAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
LightSquared hasn't been having much luck in its quest to earn FCC approval for its plans to build out a nationwide LTE network, and today Sprint revealed that if the company can't get approval by soon, a deal struck between the two last year will be given the axe. A Sprint spokesman today said that the carrier is giving LightSquared a mid-March deadline to get the green light to begin work on an LTE network. The 15-year agreement between Sprint and LightSquared was announced back in October and involves the two companies sharing spectrum and costs for network construction and equipment costs.
So far LightSquared has been unable to gain final approval from the FCC on its planned LTE network due to concerns that it could cause interference with GPS devices. Those concerns have existed for a while now, and after doing some testing, a group of federal agencies recently concluded that those issues are valid. LightSquared responded with claims that the testing was biased and asked that the FCC retest its network. Now the company has the next month and a half or so to figure out a way to get its plans approved before Sprint kills the deal between it and LightSquared.
Currently LightSquared is arguing that GPS product manufacturers don't deserve to be legally protected from interference that its network may cause, and the FCC is asking for public comment on the matter until the end of next month. It's not clear what else LightSquared may have up it sleeve, but considering how big the Sprint deal is, I'm sure that the it'll be going all out to earn the FCC's stamp of approval.