Owner of LightSquared Hires Lawyers to Examine GPS Legal Battle
Philip Falcone, the primary investor of LightSquared, is exploring all possible lawsuits against the GPS industry and the FCC in the wake of the rejection by the FCC regarding the carrier’s plan for a 4G cellular network. This was confirmed on Friday by sources familiar with the planning of the company.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has the final word on the plan of LightSquared to build a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network using spectrum next to the band utilized by GPS, on Tuesday moved to kill that plan. LightSquared is owned by the hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, which is being run by Falcone.
Outside lawyers have been hired by Falcone to evaluate possible lawsuits. The Harbinger Capital Partners owner is also considering filing an appeal to the decision of the FCC, or possibly substituting the current spectrum of LightSquared for other frequencies that are assigned to the Department of Defense. This was according to reports made available by the Wall Street Journal, which were confirmed by various sources.
The Journal said that the company, through a lawsuit, might seek to compel GPS vendors to enable their receivers to filter out the frequencies where LightSquared operates.
According to industry observers, any lawsuit or appeal of the decision of the FCC is a long shot for the owners of LightSquared. The company was granted a waiver to offer wholesale services satellite and LTE separately, its business model’s vital part, on the condition that potential GPS receiver interference will first be resolved. Last year, after a succession of tests, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said that it had come to the conclusion that the two systems cannot coexist.