LightSquared announced yesterday they have signed a deal with NetTalk.com. Under the agreement, NetTalk.com would use LightSquared’s proposed, multi-billion dollar 4G LTE network, which still needs to pass one final layer of approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
NetTalk, which sells an inexpensive alternative to landline phone service using VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol), will resell access to LightSquared’s LTE (Long-Term Evolution) mobile network under its own branded service.
Meanwhile, several more critics of the LightSquared network continued to line up, including FedEx (NYSE: FDX) and the NYC Fire Department. Virtually every industry or company that uses the global positioning system (GPS system) has lobbied against the LightSquared network because the network currently interferes with GPS system signals.
Dozens upon dozens of companies and organizations, including corporate giants such as Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN), Delta Airlines, UPS (NYSE: UPS), and Caterpillar have all united to form a coalition called “Save Our GPS.” The group says the Lightsquared network poses a serious threat to the reliability and viability of the Global Positioning System (GPS) – a national utility upon which millions of Americans rely every day.
According to the Save Our GPS website: LightSquared plans to transmit ground-based radio signals that would be one billion or more times more powerful as received on earth than GPS’s low-powered satellite-based signals, potentially causing severe interference impacting millions of GPS receivers – including those used by the federal agencies, state and local governments, first responders, airlines, mariners, civil engineering, construction and surveying, agriculture, and everyday consumers in their cars and on handheld devices.
Last Thursday an independent test sponsored by the Save Our GPS coalition said that the company’s current implementation plan would not allow aircraft GPS functions to operate under 2,000 feet.
Although Lightsquared is facing huge challenges getting the green light from the FCC,the company appears very confident that it will ultimately win the FCC’s approval. LightSquared’s chief marketing officer, Frank Mueller, told PCMag on Tuesday that LightSquared was in “active negotiations with almost 20 companies” ranging from cable operators to consumer electronics manufacturers. “Unlike traditional carriers, we don’t restrict applications on our network, like voice over IP, video streaming, peer-to-peer applications, or video calling, so for innovative companies like Nettalk we are the perfect supplier of 4G connectivity.”
LightSquared has already inked future servicing agreements with Leap Wireless, Celullar South, Best Buy Connect, and SI Wireless. Rough;y two weeks ago information was leaked revealing an agreement between LightSquared and Sprint. Supposedly Sprint would absorb some of the costs of building out the network’s infrastructure in exchange for discounted rates on LightSquared’s wireless network.
LightSquared has until the end of this week to submit a final report to the FCC with a new technical proposal that doesn’t interfere with GPS signals, and Mueller says the company is confident it will pass. “The fact that we continue to sign up customers, some of which are wireless carriers, is another sign that these companies are also confident we will solve the GPS issue,” Mueller added.