LightSquared has some good news to report: It just transitioned approximately 50,000 public-safety and enterprise customers from its MSAT satellites to its new SkyTerra 1 orbiter that was launched less than a year ago.
Service on the new satellite reportedly will emulate existing satellite services, including such features as push-to-talk; and LightSquared says it is 100-percent compatible with current devices.
“This transition is a major step toward the launch of LightSquared’s next-generation integrated satellite and broadband network, which will ensure that public safety officials and first responders have ubiquitous access to communications during emergencies,” the 4G startup adds. “In addition, the LightSquared network will provide federal, state and local agencies with access to interoperable communications throughout the United States, even in the most rural areas.”
“Providing reliable communications for the public-safety community is LightSquared’s highest priority. With the transition to LightSquared’s new satellite, first responders will continue to have the critical communication capabilities they have come to rely on in times of crisis,” notes Sanjiv Ahuja, LightSquared’s chairman and CEO.
Also included in the transition are enterprise customers from such industries as oil, natural gas, maritime, utilities and telecommunications.
In separate but related LightSquared news, 16 companies co-signed a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski regarding LightSquared’s Application for Modification (FCC File No. SAT?MOD?20101118?00239) aimed at solving its ongoing GPS-interference problems (to read more about this, click here).? The companies, which include Alianza and Vonage, are backing LightSquared solution to solving the GPS inference problem that is holding up its final licensing.
“Fear is not a solution,” the companies wrote. “It is critical to recognize that LightSquared’s sacrifice of full use of its spectrum is a constructive solution that helps develop a new, nationwide 4G LTE network complemented with satellite coverage as a way of significantly expanding broadband access nationwide while mitigating the risk of GPS interference."
They continue, “In contrast, unfortunately, many of the GPS device manufacturers still appear uninterested in finding a win-win solution. Rather, their only ‘proposal’ to a problem largely of their own making — by, in the words of the FCC, failing to design ‘receivers that reasonably discriminate against reception of signals outside their allocated spectrum’ — is that the FCC should simply block LightSquared from using its own spectrum. The support for their proposal is fear; fear that no technical solution is possible.”
They then point out that the commission “has a long history of successfully seeing through similar fear-based arguments from incumbents,” including CPE competition to the opening of the long distance and local telephone markets, the development of satellite competition and the licensing of multiple wireless carriers.
“The FCC has time and time again embraced competition and technical solutions over fear-based, emotional objections,” they wrote. “It must do so again in this proceeding; the need for expanded wireless services is too great for frequency to be inefficiently wasted.”
In the end, the co-signers concluded, “the GPS-LightSquared debate has been sadly positioned as a ‘win-lose’ dilemma, suggesting a winner-take-all outcome — that in order for one technology to exist, the other must lose. That is unfortunate and shortsighted. Securing both GPS and nationwide wireless broadband should be and can be the goal. The FCC should adopt the LightSquared solution and move forward promptly.”