FCC to block rollout of LightSquared 4G LTE network

LTE startup LightSquared is about to be dealt the final blow in a longstanding battle that has seen its dream of becoming “America’s dumbest pipe” shattered. Controlled by hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, LightSquared had plans to deploy a nationwide 4G LTE network in the United States that would be licensed to wholesalers and utilized by carrier partners such as Sprint. LightSquared’s network was found to cause interference with spectrum used by various GPS navigation and tracking solutions, and though frequency bleeding caused by GPS network inefficiencies are to blame according to LightSquared, the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday said it would not allow LightSquared’s network to launch. “NTIA, the federal agency that coordinates spectrum uses for the military and other federal government entities, has now concluded that there is no practical way to mitigate potential interference at this time,” FCC spokesman Tammy Sun wrote in a letter on Wednesday. “Consequently, the Commission will not lift the prohibition on LightSquared.” The FCC did acknowledge that the GPS industry must address the interference its networks are causing in order to free up neighboring spectrum for use by consumer broadband networks.

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