Europeans Fear LightSquared Interference

Jul 21 2011 | 12:45pm ET

The wireless venture backed by Harbinger Capital Management's interference headaches just became trans-Atlantic.

Heinz Zourek, head of the European Commission's industry department, has warned the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that LightSquared's network could imperil aircraft safety both in Europe and the U.S. Zourek wrote that the European Space Agency, which is planning a satellite-based navigation system, has found that LightSquared could cause "harmful interference" to that system, called Galileo.

Zourek's concerns echo those of several U.S. critics, who say that tests show the LightSquared network would create serious interference problems for air traffic and other global positioning systems.

LightSquared, for its part, offered a new plan last month that it claimed would eliminate 99% of interference problems.

The European complaints are based on LightSquared's old plan, the company said.

"LightSquared is very confident that its solution will resolve any issues about interference," spokesman Chris Stern told Bloomberg News.

Harbinger has invested some 60% of its flagship fund's assets in LightSquared.

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