Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. wireless venture is cutting 45 percent of its jobs, or about 149 positions, to preserve cash after its plan to start operating was rejected by U.S. regulators.
Most of the affected employees are those hired in preparation for its high-speed wireless network expansion, Reston, Virginia-based LightSquared said today. The company has 330 workers in total.
LightSquared said it is seeking to reduce costs while it works to resolve the regulatory objections. The Federal Communications Commission said last week that it won’t let LightSquared begin service after an Obama administration adviser found that it disrupts navigation gear used by planes, boats and autos.
Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund has invested about $3 billion in closely held LightSquared, which seeks to compete against AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless to offer service that lets users browse the Web at higher speeds.
This week, LightSquared skipped a $56.3 million payment to its partner Inmarsat Plc, a British satellite operator, saying unspecified obligations weren’t met.
--Editors: Ville Heiskanen, John Lear
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