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LightSquared Says FCC's Proposal Would Undermine Wireless Investment, Create Regulatory Uncertainty

in press-release, LightSquared, LTE

RESTON, Va., March 16, 2012 – LightSquared, a wholesale-only integrated 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network, today filed its opposition to the Federal Communication Commission’s proposal to terminate the company’s authority to launch a nationwide wireless broadband network that uses the same frequencies as its mobile satellite service.

LightSquared’s plans had been supported by two successive presidential administrations over a period of seven years. This proposed action to strip LightSquared of its longstanding ATC authority not only raises constitutional issues, it jettisons decades of FCC precedent and will inevitably lead to the kind of regulatory uncertainty that discourages needed investment in this nation’s wireless infrastructure. The FCC can and should continue to facilitate the build-out of the LightSquared’s 4G LTE wireless network. In a very short time, LightSquared demonstrated that it is feasible to resolve the interference issues which are the heart of the FCC’s unjustified proposal.

If the FCC reverses its decision to permit LightSquared to move forward, it will be a bait and switch by the federal government of historic scale. Based on a build-out requirement imposed by the FCC, LightSquared invested more than $4 billion to prepare for the construction of its network. If the FCC now changes its mind, it will strand billions of dollars of investment capital and cast a shadow of uncertainty over the future of wireless innovation. Its proposed action violates LightSquared’s contractual and constitutional rights.

The FCC and other parties have been well aware for more than seven years that LightSquared plans to build a nationwide terrestrial network. In 2004, the GPS industry told the FCC that LightSquared “is to be commended for its proposal to use its spectrum in a responsible manner that ensures the continued utility of GPS receivers operating in the vicinity of [its base] stations.” Now, certain federal agencies and a small group of GPS manufacturers are standing in the way innovation, lower prices and greater competition for millions of Americans.

The technical problems raised by the NTIA and other government agencies are based on a deeply flawed and biased testing process of an entirely theoretical network that did not even resemble LightSquared’s actual network in basic respects. The study therefore provides no meaningful insight into the feasibility of real-world co-existence between LightSquared’s network and GPS receivers.

LightSquared is committed to continuing to pursue its rights to use its spectrum as originally approved by the FCC. It has taken steps to extend its financial runway and to continue investing in technical solutions that will allow its network to exist along with GPS. Consumers do not have to choose between LightSquared and their GPS devices. In a few short months, LightSquared has proved that technological solutions can solve interference problems created by GPS devices that depend on LightSquared’s spectrum. The company has already spent more than $160 million to resolve those problems.

As LightSquared moves forward, it will continue to focus on providing mobile satellite voice and data communications to private industry and first responders across the United States and throughout North America.

Once the filing is delivered to the FCC, it will be available at the following link:

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