LightSquared searches for new CEO, affirms network

LightSquared, the company recently blocked by the Federal Communications Commission from going forward on its wireless broadband project is now looking for a new CEO. The company announced in a statement yesterday that Sanjiv Ahuja has resigned from his position. The organization is currently seeking new leadership and has affirmed its goal of building out a new nationwide wireless network.

Doug Smith, currently chief network officer, and Marc Montagner, currently chief financial officer, will be named as interim co-chief operating officers, while the company completes the search for the new CEO. In addition, Philip A. Falcone, CEO and CIO of Harbinger Capital Partners, has been appointed to the company’s board of directors.

The company has much of its current funding from Harbinger which is considering legal action in light of recent government action over its proposed network. LightSquared utilizes frequencies for its wireless network that conflict with existing GPS devices. The US Commerce Department has indicated that it would be cost prohibitive to alleviate this interference, prompting the FCC to block further work on the network.

The company has approximately $6 billion in loans tied up in the project and has said that it may pursue civil action in order to keep the project alive.

“LightSquared’s objective, through its wholesale business model, is to provide increased competition and lower prices in the telecommunications industry, and to bring broadband cellular phone service to rural areas that currently don’t have such service and that has not and will not change. That has been our vision from day one,” said Mr. Falcone in a statement. “The absence of affordable and reliable wireless service options is frustrating for consumers, particularly in these challenging economic times.”

“We are, furthermore, committed to working with the appropriate entities to find a solution to the recent regulatory issues. We, of course, agree that it is critical to ensure that national security, aviation and the GPS communities are protected. I am confident that working together, we can solve this problem and bring the American consumer the lower priced 4G wireless alternative they need and deserve,” Mr. Falcone added.

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