Sprint-Nextel Grants 30-Day Extension to LightSquared to Obtain FCC Approval

Sprint Nextel has given billionaire Philip Falcone's LightSquared Inc. a 30-day extension to obtain clearance from the Federal Communications Commission to operate their network.

FCC clearance is one of the terms and conditions of a "15-year fourth-generation spectrum- and-equipment-sharing accord" placed between the two companies. According to LightSquared, Sprint will be helping the company save $13 billion by the end of the decade.

On the other hand, LightSquared is facing severe criticism from the Department of Defense and various lawmakers and device manufacturers who contend the company's airwaves might jam global-positioning-system signals, as reported by Nasdaq.

By the year 2016, however, the Lightsquared fourth-generation wireless broadband network plans to cover 260 million Americans. The plan is supported by Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund. The obvious ramifications are that they will be competing with Clearwire Corp., Verizon Wireless and many others who are into wholesale of service.

Regarding the latest development, officials from both companies were not available for comment on the matter.