LightSquared was an offshoot startup founded by wireless pioneer Philip Falcone. The company had a firm background in satellite communications under two former names, American Mobile Satellite Corporation and Mobile Satellite Ventures.
It was LightSquared’s intention to take frequencies that had been located near bands used for government and military GPS and use them for next generation 4G/LTE services. They had actually carved out a huge deal to be the 4G/LTE provider for Sprint, the nation’s third largest carrier which also has roots in the same DC suburb of Reston Virginia from their NexTel days.
After months and months of testing and appearance after appearance in front of the FCC the FCC finally ruled in February that “there was no practical way to mitigate potential interference at this time.”
The Sprint deal immediately fell apart after that announcement and a large number of LightSquared employees were laid off.
Well one more nail has been put in the LightSquared coffin as the company filed for bankruptcy protection. LightSquared CEO Marc Montanger told the Washington Post that the company hasn’t given up on it’s plan and the bankruptcy protection was to give them some breathing room.
However, at this time they may not have any large scale customers left. Sprint has resorted back to their own 4G/LTE rollout in conjunction with Clearwire for which they own 50% of. T-Mobile has announced their own 4G/LTE strategy which will be funded through their parent company Deutsche Telekom and some of the nearly $4 billion dollars in break up money and considerations from the failed AT&T/T-Mobile merger last year.
source: Washington Post