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Lights Dimming On Light Squared

Around this time last year, nobody seemed to be able to stop Light Squared. The Reston VA based satellite company was going to roll out a 4G/LTE network come hell or high water. Well it looks like both have swooped down on Lightsquared in the last two weeks.

LightSquared had signed a multi billion dollar deal with Sprint to help the nation’s third largest carrier roll out 4G/LTE. Luckily for Sprint that deal was contingent on LightSquared overcoming an obstacle with the FCC. The spectrum LightSquared intended to use for their 4G/LTE network is spectrum used for military and airline GPS.

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The FCC granted LightSquared multiple temporary licenses to get their 4G/LTE technology to stop interfering with those GPS devices. Time and time again LightSquared took to the media and their own blog to report that they were about to solve the problem, or that the problem was not theirs to solve.

Last week this came to a head with the FCC when the FCC revoked their temporary license and rules that LightSquared would never be able to eliminate the interference to the GPS systems.

That decision by the FCC has just about completely halted LightSquared’s plans for a 4G/LTE network. While Sprint has given LightSquared until next month to get their network working, at this point, that’s a pipe dream.

Today LightSquared made their first of most likely several painful announcements. The company said today that they are laying off 45% of it’s 330 employee workforce.

LightSquared described the layoffs as:

“prudent and necessary cost savings measure to ensure the long-term success of the company.”

To top that off, Monday LightSquared defaulted on $56 million dollar payment on a note held by British satellite partner Inmarsat.

While bankruptcy seems inevitable LightSquared continues to say they won’t file for bankruptcy, of course they repeatedly said they would eliminate that interference and get a 4G/LTE network deployed…

source: Reuters