If you’ve been following the LightSquared scandal, you already know that LightSquared’s technology breaks GPS receivers and airplane avionics. What hasn’t been clear (to me at least) is what the technology is actually supposed to do.
Ed Morrissey explains what’s going on:
In fact, LightSquared lobbyists have been pressuring state legislators in Minnesota (where Best Buy has its corporate headquarters) to demand FCC approval through Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, in part by stressing Best Buy’s partnership with LightSquared and the notion that “retail cell phone rates for LightSquared’s partners are expected to drop by 33-50 percent!” That cost savings comes from not having to buy new frequencies, which cost carriers like AT&T and Verizon tens of billions of dollars at auction, which makes the waiver critical to their business plan.
Now it makes sense. LightSquared doesn’t have a new technology. What they have is a business plan: rather than spend a fortune to buy frequencies in the part of the spectrum where they belong, they want to use their political connections to get cheap frequencies elsewhere. They they use the cost savings to undercut their competition.