Look out WiMAX and LTE – LightSquared is in town.
Upstart telecommunications company LightSquared has announced its intentions to roll out its own nationwide 4G network, boldly taking on 4G giants WiMAX, which is powered by Sprint, and Verizon and AT&T’s LTE network. The wholesale provider, which was built up by hedge fund billionaire Phillip Falcone from a struggling little satellite communications firm, already owns a huge amount of licensed wireless spectrum. Falcone’s group, Harbinger Capital Partners, bought the company for $262 million in March 2010. They announced plans to partner with Nokia Siemens in order to provide LTE services at a deal valued at $7 billion. It wasn’t until January that LightSquared was granted permission by the FCC to launch its own independent wireless network and the game plan changed.
The goal is to sell speedy broadband services to larger, established wireless providers who will then re-sell it to camera manufacturers, e-reader makers, retailers, and other new providers who desire internet access for their products but don’t want to build an entirely new network around it. This is exciting for American consumers, as they can now anticipate a host of new products that boast internet connection, all taken care of by LightSquared.
The company’s CEO, Sanjiv Ahuja, who previously headed up the France-based Orange telecommunications group, recently announced at the CTIA 2011 convention in Orlando that LightSquared has a tentative deal in place with Best Buy, who is planning to resell the proposed service when it becomes available. Best Buy is the first big-name client LightSquared has managed to attract, and the group hopes to pull in many more in the near future.