LightSquared strikes spectrum deal and exits bankruptcy

(Reuters) - Wireless venture LightSquared LP [MOSAV.UL] said it reached a settlement on Tuesday with Deere & Co DE.N over spectrum use that will provide support for the company as it emerges from bankruptcy.

Equipment for sale is seen at a John Deere dealer in Denver May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The agreement could potentially lead to further settlements with other GPS providers over interference between LightSquared’s spectrum and GPS signals.

“This agreement sets a framework that enables GPS and broadband to peacefully coexist,” Chief Executive Officer Doug Smith told Reuters in a telephone interview.

LightSquared officially exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agreed to allow the transfer of its valuable wireless spectrum into a newly-formed company, ending one of the longest and most litigious Chapter 11 cases in recent years.

The company was planning to build a nationwide wireless network when the FCC proposed to suspend indefinitely its terrestrial spectrum authorizations, pushing it into bankruptcy in May of 2012 and bitter litigation with stakeholders vying for control of its valuable spectrum.

Under the new deal with Deere, LightSquared will reduce out-of-band emissions and forgo terrestrial use on parts of its spectrum closest to GPS.

For its part, Deere agreed not to object to the deployment of a LightSquared terrestrial network so long as deployment was consistent with the operating parameters set forth in the agreement.

LightSquared still needs to make filings at the FCC that commit to the conditions on spectrum use as set forth in the agreement with Deere.

“We will continue to work with industry and government stakeholders to reach consensus for the spectrum to be utilized,” Smith said, adding that it was too soon to discuss financial targets.

LightSquared is still involved in litigation with Garmin Ltd's GRMN.O unit Garmin International, Trimble Navigation Ltd TRMB.O, and a GPS industry group.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Diane Craft