Sprint Nextel said Sunday it gave LightSquared a 30-day extension from a Dec. 31 deadline to get FCC clearance to operate its network, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Getting FCC clearance is a condition of the 15-year fourth-generation spectrum-and-equipment-sharing accord between the two companies. LightSquared has said the Sprint accord will help it save $13 billion through the end of this decade.
LightSquared hopes to roll out an LTE broadband network to cover 260 million Americans by 2016. Last month, LightSquared pressed the FCC to rule that it had no obligation to pay for any fixes to address the GPS interference.
Prior to the FCC Order and Authorization of January 2011, the National Coordination Office and multiple federal agencies expressed concern about potential GPS interference from LightSquared.
In addition to the FCC’s monitoring the situation, the NTIA requested an interference test. According to the NTIA draft summary, some 75 percent of the GPS devices tested had experienced interference from LightSquared’s 4G network.
LightSquared officials have said the start-up has enough cash to operate until after an FCC ruling, though the company will need to find an additional $3.5 billion to be cash-flow positive over the next two years.
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