In a formal submission to the FCC on Wednesday, LightSquared asserted that the GPS community has no legal standing to complain about interference. “The commercial GPS industry has manufactured, and sold to unsuspecting consumers, unlicensed and poorly designed GPS receivers that illegally ‘listen’ on LightSquared’s owned and licensed frequencies,” the company said in the document. LightSquared claimed that GPS manufacturers also knew adjacent frequency interference was possible but made no attempt to prevent it.
The would-be broadband provider had made these points earlier in correspondence, and GPS manufacturers had refuted them.
Industry observers now suggest LightSquared’s formal request for a fast FCC decision in its favor reflects the extreme pressures under which it now finds itself. By year-end it could sign a $9 billion contract with Sprint, provided the FCC agrees that GPS interference has been solved. To meet Sprint’s condition, LightSquared proposed to the FCC that it would vacate its interference-producing frequency close to that of GPS, in exchange for the FCC’s fast-tracking LightSquared’s Internet broadcasting startup over its alternate, supposedly interference-free, frequency.
Finally, company cash is dwindling, an obstacle probably complicated by advice from federal regulators that LightSquared’s parent, Harbinger Holdings, will be investigated for possible fraud.