Posts Tagged ‘l-band’

Spectrum & Bankruptcy

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

FightSquared is about to be resolved.

After “lawyering up” for the last few years, here comes the judge. She suggested everybody coffee-up for Thursday’s hearing.

Don’t call him “Nixon,” as Charlie seldom ever loses a hand in this game.

Here’s the latest tit-for-tat, via The Deal Pipeline

“Mr. Ergen’s testimony cannot be believed,” said debtor counsel Andrew Leblanc of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

Dish Network Corp. chairman Ergen, who holds more than $1 billion in secured claims including interest, is the sole objector to the reorganization of Philip Falcone-backed LightSquared.

Leblanc told the court that Ergen impeached himself 27 times during testimony earlier in 2014 by disagreeing with his deposition before the trial.

LightSquared and supporting creditors are trying to convince Judge Shelley Chapman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District in New York that the debtor should be able to give Ergen different compensation for his secured claims than other creditors holding secured debt. The plan supporters also want Chapman to designate, or disqualify, Ergen’s vote.

The debtor plans to repay Ergen’s first-lien debt with a third-lien note that would not pay cash for seven years, unless it were refinanced. Other secured creditors would receive cash payments in full shortly after confirmation of the plan.

Ergen’s counsel, Rachel Strickland of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, called the plan “totally unjust and in violation of the [Bankruptcy] Code,” in court Monday.

LightSquared sought Chapter 11 protection two years ago. The debtor was unable to fund its business when the Federal Communications Commission withdrew support for a proposal that would allow LightSquared to use is spectrum — which is licensed for hybrid satellite-terrestrial service — for wholesale wireless broadband service.

The confirmation hearing has focused as much on Ergen’s alleged misdeeds as it has on the plan supported by Fortress Investment Group, Melody Capital Advisors LLC, Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners LLC and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

LightSquared argues that the plan, which incorporates $2.65 billion in new financing, compensates all creditors fully and fairly.

Ergen’s lawyers told Chapman that the debtors are buying the votes of junior classes by giving them better treatment than the Dish chairman. “They are patting themselves on the back for get a fully consensual plan?” Strickland asked the court. “They are trying to work around the [Bankruptcy] Code.”

Strickland called the effort to divide the secured debt into two classes a “completely unprecedented maneuver.”

LightSquared and creditors argue that Ergen violated a credit agreement by purchasing the claims, because terms of the loan blocked competitors such as Dish from purchasing the debt.

The debtor also accuses Ergen of disrupting its reorganization, and notes that another judge in the Southern District of New York designated Dish’s vote in the reorganization of DBSD North America Inc. Dish wound up buying the satellite communications company.

Dish offered $2.22 billion to purchase LightSquared’s most attractive portfolio of wireless licenses last year. LightSquared said the offer undervalued the debtor, though a group of secured creditors proposed a reorganization of a unit of the company built around Ergen’s offer.

Dish withdrew the bid in January, after termination dates for the deal passed. Chapman ruled that the company had the legal right to terminate.

LightSquared has negligible operations. The value of the debtor’s estates lies in its spectrum, and will swing widely depending on the FCC’s ruling on licensing.

Leblanc told Chapman that Ergen plays “the long game,” and would attempt to buy the company on the cheap if he could disrupt the reorganization plan. The lawyer noted that Dish’s purchase of DBSD played out over a long period, and predicted that the satellite TV company still has an interest in LightSquared and its wireless spectrum.

Know when to hold em, know when to fold em.


Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

All was well with the GPS world. LightSquared had some trouble surface last June, then the farmers were sold a load of manure. Fine. We can work this out, right?

Not really.

A draft report was leaked and promptly published by Bloomberg, concluding LightSquared will harmfully interfere with 75% of GPS devices.

Philip Falcone’s proposed LightSquared Inc. wireless service caused interference to 75 percent of global-positioning system receivers examined in a U.S. government test, according to a draft summary of results.

The results from testing conducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 show that “millions of fielded GPS units are not compatible” with the planned nationwide wholesale service, according to the draft seen by Bloomberg News.

“LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to majority of GPS receivers tested,” according to the draft prepared for a meeting next week of U.S. officials reviewing the LightSquared proposal. “No additional testing is required to confirm harmful interference exists.”

GPS users are the 99% here and I’m afraid the bankers have got something to worry about.

The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Systems Engineering Forum presents its results on 14 December 2011.

The PNT Took My L-band Baby Away

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Seems LightSquared has a problem on its hands, after a report (PDF) from the National PNT Systems Engineering Forum

Key Findings:

  • All GPS receiver applications impacted by proposed LightSquared Network
  • Simulation of fully deployed LightSquared network of ~40,000 base stations would:
    1. Degrade or result in loss of GPS function (ranging, position) at standoff distances ranging from few kilometers and extending to space operations
    2. Out of band emissions due to close proximity to GPS Band
    3. Appear to be satisfactory
  • No universal mitigation approach identified

Seriously, it’s not a good situation, according to Fierce Wireless

Jim Kirkland, vice president and general counsel at Trimble Navigation which has opposed LightSquared’s operations as currently designed, said the tests showed that LightSquared’s network clearly cause interference with GPS.

“There is not a solution here,” he said. “In our view, it’s time to stop squandering resources on this and look for alternative spectrum for this operation. What LightSquared is trying to do is a great thing. It’s very important that we have more competition in broadband and more spectrum in broadband wireless. However, there is one place in the satellite band where this does not work,” and that is the spectrum next to GPS, he said.

It gets worse. According to the WSJ blog post by Amy Schatz, the DoD, aviation and a swarm from Congress are signaling a rough go ahead…

A bipartisan group of 66 House members asked the FCC Tuesday to protect global positioning systems from interference from wireless broadband start-up LightSquared, which is trying to launch a new network.

LightSquared’s airwaves have been knocking out some GPS systems during recent tests in New Mexico, according to unofficial reports from GPS users.

The company has acknowledged the problem but says technological fixes are available. LightSquared and GPS makers are scheduled to file a joint report to the FCC on June 15 about any interference issues.

The aviation industry, Defense Department and other government agencies are worried that the new mobile broadband network’s planned 40,000 cell towers could interfere with highly precise GPS systems used in military, aviation and homeland security equipment. Federal officials and GPS industry advocates have been lobbying Congress heavily to pressure the FCC to resolve any interference issues before letting LightSquared turn on its service.

“We request that the Commission only approve LightSquared’s waiver (to offer service) if it can be indisputably proven that there will be no GPS interference,” the lawmakers wrote Tuesday. A bipartisan group of 34 Senators wrote a similar letter to the FCC last month.

By our count, the House letter was signed by 17 Democrats and 49 Republicans, including four committee chairman: House Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon of California, Science Space and Technology Chairman Ralph Hall of Texas, Small Business Chairman Sam Graves of Missouri and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.

Like a challenge, rocket scientists? They’re hiring!