LightSquared said on Tuesday that it will lay off nearly half of its employees after the Federal Communications Commission last week blocked the company’s plans for a nationwide 4G network that testing shows interferes with GPS signals.
LightSquared said it will layoff nearly half of its 330 employees, calling the move a “prudent and necessary cost-saving measure to ensure the long-term success of the company.” The FCC last week dealt the Reston, Virginia, company a severe setback when it revoked permission for LightSquared to move ahead with its wireless network after military and FAA tests showed its signals would block signals to many GPS receivers.
With its plans for a nationwide 4G wireless network all but dead, LightSquared said it will now focus on the satellite services side of its business. “The company remains committed to managing its core business operations, serving the more than 300,000 government, public safety and commercial users of its satellite service,” LightSquared said in a statement.
Although the apparent imminent threat to GPS appears to have abated, the LightSquared saga might flare up again at some point. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Philip Falcone, the money manager who staked his hedge fund on the wireless network startup, has hired lawyers to formulate a strategy aimed at reversing the FCC’s decision.