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Satellite firm to pull plug on mobile broadband provider

Satellite

By Reuters

Posted on 20 Feb 2012 at 09:19

British satellite firm Inmarsat is ready to pull the plug on LightSquared, a venture struggling to build a US mobile broadband service with Inmarsat's spectrum.

LightSquared has failed to pay a $56.25 million installment to the British satellite firm and faces an uncertain future. The Federal Communications Commission said last week that it planned to revoke permission for LightSquared to build out its network after tests showed it would interfere with the Global Positioning System used by airlines, the military and others.

After the FCC news, nalysts speculated that bankruptcy may be close at hand for LightSquared, especially after it had earlier warned that it would run out of money early this year.

Inmarsat said it had issued a default notice to LightSquared, giving it 60 days to make the payment before it terminated the co-operation agreement.

Inmarsat said it had started talks with the US company, which is backed by billionaire hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone, but it could not provide any assurance it would receive any more payments.

It said its core business, which provides communications to shipping, aircraft and remote locations worldwide, was unaffected.

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User comments

Botched GPS equipment...

The bothched shielding and spectrum management on cheap GPS chips (especially in aircraft!) means that they bleed over into the Inmarsat frequencies, which LS wanted to use.

Despite providing workarounds for GPS manufacturers, to help them stick to the spectrum they are supposed to use, the GPS consortium and NTSA in America have said that LS's solution is unworkable, because they would have to retrofit all poorly built GPS devices with rectifiers - well, they actually said that LS's devices would interfere with GPS, full stop, no need to look at workarounds to help GPS devices work in their correct spectrum.

By big_D on 20 Feb 2012

More in-depth article

For a more detailed look at why LightSquared failed, it's worth checking out this recent Arstechnica article on the subject:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/wh
y-lightsquared-failed.ars/2

By pbryanw on 20 Feb 2012

Working link for the Arstechnica article:

http://bit.ly/zL5DGL

By pbryanw on 20 Feb 2012

First page of article (last link was to second page):

http://bit.ly/Arz1MN

(Sorry for repeat posts)

By pbryanw on 20 Feb 2012

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