FCC Seeks Comment on LightSquared Proposal

Company Would Agree not to Use 10 MHz adjacent to GPS Band

The FCC has asked for comment on LightSquared's most recent effort to secure FCC permission to launch a terrestrial wholesale 4G wireless broadband service using spectrum initially licensed for satellite.

LightSquared says it will give up its right to deploy the service in the 10 MHz of spectrum immediately adjacent to GPS service. It was the issue of sensitive GPS receivers being interfered with by in-band LightSquared transmissions that prompted an outcry from GPS users, including many government agencies, and prompted the FCC to put an indefinite hold on its waiver that would have allowed the service so long as there were no unresolved interference issues.

After being granted a conditional waiver by the FCC to use satellite spectrum for a planned wholesale 4G terrestrial mobile broadband net, the FCC suspended the waiver temporarily -- and is in the process of determining whether that should be permanent -- after GPS interference issues could not be resolved.

LightSquared had already modified its proposal once to delay using that adjacent 10 MHz, but critics were concerned that did not provide them enough assurance about its future use. LightSquared now promises not to use that for its terrestrial service, and instead leave it as a guard band to protect against interference.

Comments are due Dec. 17 on the LightSquared proposal, replies Jan. 4.