LightSquared ended a long running legal dispute with manufacturer Deere & Co over how its spectrum co-exists with GPS signals, as the company continues its recovery after emerging from bankruptcy.
The wireless company, which came out of bankruptcy protection after three years on Monday, said in a statement it had reached a compromise with Deere on how to use the spectrum in question, which has had the two parties at odds for years.
Under the agreement, “New LightSquared agreed to reduce out of band emissions from currently authorised levels and to file a request at the FCC forging terrestrial use on parts of spectrum”.
In return, Deere agreed not to object to LightSquared’s terrestrial deployment plans, leading to a finalised settlement between the two companies.
LightSquared filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2012 after US regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) locked the company from launching a nationwide wireless network, on the grounds that its spectrum interfered with GPS signals.
Harbinger Capital, LightSquared’s controlling hedge fund at the time, then sued Deere and two other GPS companies – Garmin and Trimble Navigation – as well as other industry groups, and even the FCC, over the issue.
LightSquared will hope the settlement with Deere could now potentially lead to further agreements with the other GPS providers.
“We are glad to finally find resolution to these important spectrum issues and are pleased to reach an end to the case against Deere,” said LightSquared CEO Doug Smith. “We believe this agreement sets forth the framework that enables GPS and broadband to peacefully coexist.”
New LightSquared said it still needs to make filings at the FCC, based on the settlement with Deere, which confirms it will not object to the company’s deployment of a network in certain spectrum bands.
Wall Street Journal reports Deere didn’t make any payment to settle the litigation, while LightSquared agreed to pay a portion of the company’s attorney’s fee.
The FCC approved LightSquared’s plans to transfer its spectrum to a newly formed company earlier this week, as well as install a new leadership team headed up by former Verizon chairman and CEO, Ivan Seidenberg.
Harbinger retains up to 44 per cent in the company, but has no say in the day-to-day running of the company.
Resolving issues with the GPS industry is one of the main priorities for the revamped company, as it plans to roll out low cost mobile wireless services across the US.