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Former FCC Head Sees LightSquared Getting Spectrum Approval by 2015

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:45am
Ben Munson

Former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell testified that LightSquared will likely earn FCC approval to deploy a terrestrial network on 30 MHz of its spectrum by the end of 2015.

McDowell said an additional 10 MHz will likely be approved for use within the next seven years, a conclusion he based on public information, discussions with LightSquared and prior experience, according to a Bloomberg report.

Christopher Rogers, an airwave issues committee member, testifying on behalf of LightSquared, also predicted a 2015 FCC approval and suggested that the would-be wireless provider may attempt to acquire more spectrum.

The FCC last year gave LightSquared approval to test deploying mobile broadband services in the 1675-1680 MHz band on a shared basis with existing federal operations.

LightSquared in 2012 filed for bankruptcy protection after the FCC squashed its plans to deploy wireless broadband due to potential interference with GPS. LightSquared’s L Band spectrum holdings have since become a target for Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen.

LightSquared is pursuing a restructuring plan, considering options from owner Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Capital and a lender group that includes Ergen. LightSquared has accused Ergen of buying a big chunk of company’s debt without revealing who was behind the purchase, stating it would not have allowed someone representing a competitor like Dish to do so.

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