Investors led by Harbinger Capital Partners have filed a $1.9 billion lawsuit against a trio of GPS receiver manufacturers over LightSquared, a now bankrupt firm that still hopes to build a wireless broadband network across the United States, according to a story reported by InsideGNSS.com, a Web site targeting the global network satellite system community.
The investors are seeking compensation for losses incurred when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) denied LightSquared permission to build its wholesale wireless broadband communications network. They allege that the three firms — Deere & Company, Garmin International and Trimble Navigation, plus the U.S. GPS Industry Council and the Coalition to Save Our GPS — are liable for failing to warn them about the problems that have now forced a halt to the project.
The filing argues that GPS manufacturers knew of plans to use the frequencies in question for a ground-based network, but did not tell the investors the network would overload receivers, irreparably hampering GPS service.
“The Harbinger lawsuit is an attempt to avoid responsibility for the consequences of LightSquared’s plan to build a high-powered mobile network in spectrum adjacent to GPS, despite prior FCC restrictions,” said Jim Kirkland, vice president and general counsel of Trimble, in a prepared statement. “The lawsuit is lacking in merit and we will vigorously defend it.”
The withdrawal of the FCC’s conditional waiver last February may well become the focus of the case, InsideGNSS reported. To read the whole story, visit www.InsideGNSS.com and scroll through the news section to a story dated Aug. 10.