Sprint Parts Ways With LightSquared, Returns $65 Million

Sprint and LightSquared had entered into an 11-year agreement last June to share network expansion costs if LightSquared could get regulatory approval for its LTE rollout plan. LightSquared was debating with the FCC about alleged GPS interference on the 1.6 GHz spectrum, and Sprint had given them a six-week deadline to sort it all out. Well, the six weeks is now up, and Sprint has decided to terminate the agreement, saying the following:

“…due to these unresolved issues, and subject to the provisions of the agreement, Sprint has elected to exercise its right to terminate the agreement announced last summer. We remain open to considering future spectrum hosting agreements with LightSquared, should they resolve these interference issues, as well as other interested spectrum holders…

…Per the terms of the agreement, Sprint has returned $65 million in prepayments LightSquared made to cover costs that were not ultimately incurred by Sprint.”

Full press release after the break.

Sprint Elects to Terminate Spectrum Hosting Agreement with LightSquared

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), March 16, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE: S) today issued the following statement regarding the spectrum hosting agreement it signed with LightSquared in June 2011. Per the agreement, Sprint agreed to deploy and operate an LTE network capable of utilizing the 1.6 GHz spectrum licensed to or available to LightSquared. The agreement contained contingencies related to possible interference issues with LightSquared’s spectrum, including Sprint’s right to terminate the agreement if certain conditions were not met by LightSquared.

“Sprint has been and continues to be supportive of LightSquared’s business plans and appreciates the company’s efforts to find a resolution to the interference issues impacting its ability to offer service on the 1.6 GHz spectrum. However, due to these unresolved issues, and subject to the provisions of the agreement, Sprint has elected to exercise its right to terminate the agreement announced last summer. We remain open to considering future spectrum hosting agreements with LightSquared, should they resolve these interference issues, as well as other interested spectrum holders.

“Late last year, both companies agreed to halt deployment design and implementation of LightSquared’s network to ensure that Sprint’s Network Vision project remained on schedule. While unfortunate, termination of the agreement will have no impact on Sprint’s current customers and is not material to Sprint’s ongoing business operations. Network Vision remains on schedule and on budget, and we look forward to begin launching our 4G LTE network mid-year.

“Per the terms of the agreement, Sprint has returned $65 million in prepayments LightSquared made to cover costs that were not ultimately incurred by Sprint.”

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