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Lightsquared says wireless tests were bogus

Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. said tests showing the wireless service interferes with the global-positioning system were rigged to produce “bogus results.”

The tests were conducted in secrecy and focused on obsolete and niche market devices, LightSquared said in a statement citing Executive Vice President Jeffrey Carlisle, Geoff Stearn, LightSquared’s vice president for spectrum development and Ed Thomas, a former chief engineer at the Federal Communications Commission.

U.S. officials last week said LightSquared disrupts GPS receivers. No further testing is warranted after the unanimous findings of nine government agencies, the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation & Timing said in a Jan. 13 letter to the U.S. Commerce Department. The inter- agency body advises the government on GPS technology.

U.S. regulators said they won’t approve LightSquared for commercial service should they find it would significantly disrupt GPS devices. The Reston, Va.-based company backed by Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund plans high- speed wireless service to as many as 260 million people. Lightsquared plans to team with Overland Park-based Sprint Nextel on its wireless service, a venture that could bring billions to Sprint.

Brie Sachse, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration who’s authorized to speak about the test results, didn’t immediately comment.

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