Wireless startup LightSquared files for bankruptcy

LightSquared Inc., which hoped to create an independent wireless broadband network in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday.

Regulators blocked its plan this winter because of concerns that its transmissions would interfere with GPS navigation.

LightSquared hasn't given up. Chief Finacial Officer Marc Montagner said in a statement that the is intended to gain the company "breathing room" while it continues to work through its regulatory issues.

It has said that it has invested more than $4 billion in the network. LightSquared listed assets and liabilities of more than $1 billion each in the filing Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The company, which is based in Reston, Va., is owned by Harbinger Capital Partners, a private-equity firm that made billions betting against subprime mortgages ahead of the collapse of the housing market.

Harbinger bought SkyTerra, a provider of satellite communications services to businesses, in 2010. It then lobbied the to allow it to use the spectrum set aside for SkyTerra for ground-based communications - essentially, a conventional , rather than a satellite-based one.

But SkyTerra's licenses were for spectrum adjacent to a band used by . On the ground, GPS units had no problem filtering out transmissions from SkyTerra's satellites, but regulators determined that they could be disrupted by strong, ground-based signals.

LightSquared's CEO, telecom veteran Sanjiv Ahuja, resigned in February.

The company's largest creditors are Boeing Satellite Systems Inc., owed $7.5 million, and Alcatel-Lucent, owed $7.3 million, according to the filing.

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May 14, 2012
"The company, which is based in Reston, Va., is owned by Harbinger Capital Partners, a private-equity firm that made billions betting against subprime mortgages ahead of the collapse of the housing market."-from the article
This is blood money made by profiteers capitalizing on the misery of millions left homeless and destitute. Who needs a countrywide (no pun intended) network of WiFi whose safety is questionable to the undeveloped brains of kids when you can get it at any one of the million Starbucks for free. I not only hope their ill-gotten gains go down the tubes, but they're personally forced into foreclosure.

May 14, 2012
The interference could possibly have rather nasty consequences as well as hitting travelers in the pocket book. Currently you can file a flight plan direct to a point due to the accuracy of GPS. This is done commercially as well as civil aviation. Since it was allowed it has saved piles of money in fuel bills from the fuel not burnt following established airways. Or allowing closer spacing on approaches and so on. The money invested in this company is peanuts in comparison to the savings and that was a few years ago when fuel was er 'cheap'. I for one am glad this has occurred as this was a potential disaster both financially and potential loss of life from this 'mild' interference. And yes I was one who worked on getting the applications killed. I still can't understand why the military was not more overt in its disagreement with this as well. Bombs and bombers use the signal domestically.

May 14, 2012
A job well done, for whatever reason.

May 15, 2012
A job well done, for whatever reason.

Right on:

It was a "crony-capitalism" setup right from the beginning just as Solyndra was. This is what happens everytime government officials try to pick winners & losers.

Government officials have serious math skill deficiencies, that's why they are in government where math skills are not required of them, they assume if they dictate a decree, there will be someone there with the math skills to make it happen; it's exactly the same reason Marxism has never worked anyplace it has ever been tried, lack of math skills by those issuing dictums to the populace who falsely assume governments are looking out for their best interests.

I work as an Engineer in the energy producing industry, I've seen it firsthand time & again the mind boggling inefficiencies government bureaucrats create when they think they are as smart as those who have my demonstrable math skills.

May 15, 2012
Hey, Vendicar, "hay" is for horses.

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