LightSquared defaults on Inmarsat payment

LightSquared

Life keeps getting more complicated for would-be LTE mobile broadband operator LightSquared: satellite firm Inmarsat says LightSquared has defaulted on a $56.25 million payment due following the first phase of an agreement to re-allocate spectrum resources. The Inmarsat notice gives LightSquared 60 days to make payment before Inmarsat terminates their agreement; if Inmarsat were to pull out of its deal with LightSquared, it would present another major obstacle to LightSquared ever getting its planned LTE network operational. Inmarsat has also indicated it has begun talks with LightSquared about the future of the agreement—or, perhaps, lack of future.

LightSquared says final payment for the first phase of the spectrum allocation agreement is not due until Inmarsat responds to “several matters” LightSquared has raised. LightSquared says the terms of the agreement allow for additional time to resolve pending issues before phase one is complete and final payment is due.

The dispute with Inmarsat might mark another nail in the coffin of LightSquared—some analysts are speculating the company will have little choice but to file for bankruptcy protection. Although hedge-fund billionaire Philip Falcone has indicated LightSquared has no plans to file for bankruptcy, the company has indicated it will run out of money early this year.

LightSquared’s proposed satellite-assisted LTE network hit a major roadblock earlier this month when the FCC moved to revoke the company’s provisional license to operate, citing GPS interference issues with LightSquared’s operations. LightSquared says the GPS interference tests were rigged, and that GPS interference issues are the result of the GPS industry making shoddy gear that fails to meet GPS receiver specifications.

LightSquare’s deal with Inmarsat is a key component to LightSquared’s “solution” for GPS interference issues: LightSquared worked out a frequency re-allocation deal with Inmarsat the enables the first phases of LightSquare’d LTE network to operate on a 10 MHz frequency block more-distant from frequencies used by GPS receivers, reducing the likelihood of substantial interference. If LightSquared loses access to that block, its service will have to operate even close to frequencies used by GPS.

Photography

After controversial video, China bans saying Leica on social media

A video that referenced Tiananmen Square got the name of the camera company Leica banned from the social media platform Weibo. Leica says the video wasn't an officially sanctioned promotion.
Gaming

Halo: Reach beta might be delayed, PC version needs more work

Halo: Reach is coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection this year for both PC and Xbox One players. Invites were expected to go out toward the end of the month, but 343 Industries now says they may be delayed.
Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Mobile

Apple has a weird issue with its second-generation Pencil

Apple has a bizarre issue with its second-generation Pencil. The company says that if it's in charging mode and is positioned close to a car's key fob, interference can prevent the device from unlocking the vehicle.
Mobile

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.
Mobile

The OnePlus 3 & 3T both receive an open beta for Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Selfies are now banned at China’s gigantic Aperture Spherical Telescope

You can't take a selfie with the world's largest single-dish radio telescope anymore, as the Chinese government has banned everything from smartphones to digital cameras in the surrounding 5-kilometer area.
Mobile

Charge and sync with the best Lightning cables for your iPhone or iPad

If you’re looking to replace a lightning cable, or in need of something a little longer or tougher, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 of our favorite cables for the iPhone and other iOS devices.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for April 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Android

The dramatic BlackBerry Key2 Red Edition is now available in the U.S.

BlackBerry's Key2 is likely to be the best keyboard-equipped phone in 2019, with a modern look, some powerful specs, and totally revamped features. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Mobile

The Best iPhone 7 battery cases to give your phone some extra juice

The iPhone 7 doesn't have terrible battery life, but you never know when you'll need to juice up on the go. To help, here are the best iPhone 7 battery cases that can keep your smartphone charged and ready for long-term use.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 update gives manual control of Bright Night mode

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.