LightSquared Gets Reprieve from Inmarsat Payments

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PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat on April 20 said struggling startup U.S. wireless broadband provider LightSquared made an overdue payment of $56.25 million and that Inmarsat has agreed to permit LightSquared to wave the requirement for further payments until April 2014.

Reston, Va.-based LightSquared is fighting to salvage its proposed multibillion-dollar U.S. wireless network following U.S. regulators’ decision in February to withdraw the company’s operating license because of concerns that LightSquared’s signals would interfere with GPS positioning, navigation and timing services.

LightSquared is trying to reverse the ruling and remain solvent without filing for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

London-based Inmarsat said in a statement that its new agreement with LightSquared suspends the requirement for $29.6 million in monthly payments until April 2014 to allow LightSquared “additional time to secure regulatory consents that may ultimately lead to the deployment” of the LightSquared network.

LightSquared’s hybrid satellite-terrestrial network uses the same L-band spectrum that Inmarsat uses for its global service to aeronautical, maritime and land-based mobile users. The two companies have agreed to coordinate the use of spectrum to permit LightSquared to proceed in return for cash paid to Inmarsat.

On Feb. 20, Inmarsat announced that LightSquared had missed a scheduled payment of $56.25 million and would have 60 days to make good on the debt before Inmarsat took action.

This is the payment that Inmarsat announced it received on April 20. Deployment of the LightSquared network “remains a substantive revenue opportunity for Inmarsat,” the company said in its statement.

 

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