Thursday, March 10, 2011

LightSquared Partners with Open Range for Rural LTE+Satellite

LightSquared, the new company building a wholesale-only integrated LTE + broadband satellite network, has formed a multi-year, strategic partnership with Open Range Communications to serve rural markets across the U.S.

The partnership is expected to include a licensing arrangement whereby Open Range will lease LightSquared's L-band spectrum. This wholesale agreement will enable Open Range to sell LightSquared's next generation satellite capacity. The partnership will also include a 4G nationwide reciprocal roaming arrangement. Under the arrangement, the companies will collaborate on the design, build-out and operation of Open Range's network as well as on product and service evolution.


The companies said their partnership will help fulfill the promise of the FCC's National Broadband Plan by addressing the needs of "consumers, businesses, healthcare, tribal organizations, public safety and other government users located in or traveling to rural communities."


The deal is still being completed and is subject to review by the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program, and approval of spectrum lease arrangements by the FCC.


"Open Range's unwavering vision is for ubiquitous High Speed Internet Service at an affordable price across all of rural America. The partnership with LightSquared helps fulfill our vision of delivering the most advanced and interoperable broadband wireless communications services to un-served and underserved rural communities across America. The combination of satellite and Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) services provides the only feasible way to offer meaningful ubiquitous nationwide rural broadband and meet President Obama's goals," said Open Range Chief Executive Officer and founder Bill Beans.
http://www.LightSquared.com

  • Open Range Communications is a unique public and private partnership. The company was approved in 2009 for a loan by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Utilities Program (RDUP) to deliver High Speed Wireless Internet to more than 500 communities across 17 states. This Broadband Access Loan of $267 million loan (the largest in USDA history) was made possible through the positive and combined efforts of the USDA’s RUS and FCC. Open Range received additional private equity funding on January 9, 2009 through an investment of $100 million from One Equity Partners (OEP), the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The OEP investment satisfied the RDUP's loan terms, making the funds available to Open Range.

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