LightSquared Files For BankruptcyBy: Shaylin Clark - May 14, 2012
LightSquared, a wireless venture started by Philip Falcone, has filed for bankruptcy today. The would-be wireless company ran into difficulties with regulators concerning plans for a wireless network that had the potential to interfere with the existing Global Positioning System.
According to a report this afternoon by Bloomberg, the company has debts and assets of over $1 billion. Negotiations between the company and its creditors broke down over the creditors’ insistence that Falcone leave the company.
LightSquared was founded to created a nationwide 4G LTE network that relied both on existing cellular towers and satellites. It faced significant regulatory concern, though, over the fact that the spectrum on which the LightSquared would operate was dangerously close to that used by the Global Position System. Numerous organizations, including the United States Air Force, which currently runs the GPS system, gathered to protest LightSquared’s plans, and sought to block the network’s implementation.
In February, the FCC ruled that the GPS interference from LightSquared’s network would be unavoidable, and that LightSquared’s earlier conditional authorization to proceed should be revoked.
The FCC’s ruling effectively killed LightSquared’s plans, leaving the company with no way to pay its bills. After attempts to negotiate with creditors failed, the company filed for bankruptcy this morning in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The company said in a statement today that it hopes to use the time gained by the filing to restructure the company and continue to work to “resolve regulatory issues” that have thus far interfered with the company’s plans.