[caption id="attachment_7433" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Phil Falcone, Harbinger "]
, the man behind the Harbinger
fund and financier, is facing opposition over his Reston-based startup LightSquared
reports the Washington Post
. He has had to face off against defense groups, aviation groups and others who contend that "the company’s plans to expand its 4G network would interfere with the GPS spectrum and disrupt satellite services."
Falcone Hopes Lobbying Will Turn the Tides
This month, instead of hiring more people to research and develop studies on the viability of a broader 4G network, Falcone is trying a different approach. He is turning to lobbyists to help him solve his "technical" issues. This month, LightSquared stepped up its lobbying effort by adding four firms to its roster of lobbyists – K&L Gates, Gibson Dunn, Podesta Group and Shockey Scofield Solutions. The four lobbyist firms bring Falcone's total number of firms hired in 2011 to nine. According to lobbying records, American Continental Group, Ballard Spahr, Dickstein Shapiro, Gephardt Group and Nethercutt Consulting were retained in February.
LightSquared Could Be the Next Big Thing
Phil Falcone has spent more than $1.6 million in lobbying fees this year according to the disclosure records he filed with the Senate. But, really that is small potatoes compared to what it will be worth if Falcone succeeds in bringing the LightSquared technology to market. If LightSquared succeeds, Falcone would be the primary owner of a nationwide 4g network – no dead zones. LightSquared makes up the majority of assets in Falcone's hedge fund Harbinger, so the gains would be even greater, if only he can get the defense groups, aviation groups, and other neigh sayers to get on board.