Sprint puts LightSquared payments on hold

Well, this didn’t take long. It was only a couple of days ago when Sprint gave LightSquared a 30-day extension as both companies await the fate of its 15-year agreement it struct this past summer, which the folks in Washington have yet to make a decision on (deadline was December 31st). Now, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that the third largest carrier in the United States will put its payments in a partnership with LightSquared on hold as it painstakingly awaits a ruling from DC.

So what’s the hold up? Well, it’s believed that such a delay is due to the U.S. government’s concerns on whether LightSquared’s service interferes with global-positioning system (GPS) gear used by cars, boats, planes and farm equipment. This is a huge piece to The Now Network’s ambitious 4G roll out, which the company calls its “Network Vision.”

Sprint is heavily dependent on this deal going through, as it needs to add LightSquared’s 1600MHz spectrum, which would allow the company to properly deploy its LTE network starting mid-2012. If things don’t work out, the third largest U.S. carrier has spectrum holdings in the 800 / 1900MHz bands and a new agreement with Clearwire — which is eh, okay I guess.

[via Businessweek]

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