The company also asked the FCC to confirm that GPS manufacturers have no right to interference protection from LightSquared's network.
Wholesale-only nationwide 4G
Long-Term Evolution network operator LightSquared asked the Federal
Communications Commission to confirm the company's right to use the spectrum
licensed to it by the federal government. In addition, the company
asked the FCC to confirm that commercial GPS manufacturers have no right to
interference protection from LightSquared's network since they are not licensed
users of that spectrum. The company claims that commercial GPS manufacturers
are responsible for having designed and sold unlicensed devices that use
spectrum licensed to LightSquared and other companies.
"The one inescapable
conclusion from two rounds of independent testing is that the incompatibility
problem is not caused by LightSquared's network," said LightSquared's executive
vice president for regulatory affairs and public policy Jeff Carlisle. "It is
clear that GPS devices are purposefully designed to look into LightSquared's
licensed spectrum, and given this evidence, we believe decision makers should
consider LightSquared's legal rights as the licensee."
In addition to more than 300
million GPS-enabled cell phones that government testing has confirmed are
compatible with LightSquared's spectrum, the company argued several GPS device
manufacturers, including Javad GNSS and Hemisphere, have also successfully
developed and tested devices that are also compatible. The company said the
development of these LightSquared-compatible GPS devices proves that GPS
manufacturers could have designed their equipment to filter out LightSquared's
signals and avoid interference.
"While we ask the FCC today
to confirm our legal rights, LightSquared remains fully committed to cooperate
with all parties-the GPS industry, GPS users and the federal government-to
ensure that LightSquared's network is deployed in a way that is compatible with
GPS users," said Carlisle. "LightSquared has always recognized the critical importance
of the GPS system, and we firmly believe that GPS devices can peacefully
co-exist adjacent to our network."
To encourage private
innovation, entrepreneurs must have confidence and certainty over their rights
to use spectrum granted by the FCC, said Sanjiv Ahuja, LightSquared chairman
and CEO. He added that the country's future technological and economic
achievements depend on a firm adherence to the rule of law.
"This petition goes to the
very core of the FCC's mission, which is to ensure that the nation's airwaves
are governed by regulatory certainty,'' he said. "In the 21st century, the fair
and efficient management of the nation's spectrum will unleash a technological
revolution in wireless broadband that will bring untold benefits to all
Earlier this year,
LightSquared announced that it received $265 million in new funding and
plans to use the latest capital injection for general corporate purposes,
including the construction of its 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wholesale
network. As a wholesale-only operator, LightSquared plans to deploy an open 4G
network to be used by existing and new service providers to sell their own
devices, applications and services, which the company said it could deliver at
a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared. The
deployment and operation of the company's network represent more than $14
billion of private investment over the next eight years.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.