Monday, July 19, 2010

LightSquared Plans $7 Billion National LTE Network with NSN

LightSquared, a new company backed by Harbinger Capital Partners, unveiled its plans to launch a wholesale-only, 4G-LTE network across the U.S. complemented by satellite coverage. LightSquared will provide wholesale wireless broadband capacity to a diverse group of customers, including retailers; wireline and wireless communication service providers; cable operators; device manufacturers; web players; content providers; and many others. The LightSquared network will allow these partners to offer satellite-only, terrestrial-only, or integrated satellite-terrestrial services to their end users.

Nokia Siemens Networks has signed an 8-year agreement valued at more than $7 billion over 8 years to provide network design, equipment manufacturing and installation, and network operations and maintenance. The nationwide LightSquared network, consisting of approximately 40,000 cellular base stations, will cover 92 percent of the U.S. population by 2015. The satellite portion of the LightSquared network will leverage the next generation hybrid Mobile Satellite System (MSS) with an Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) developed by SkyTerra.

Harbinger Capital Partners has completed its previously announced acquisition of SkyTerra Communications, which is now part of LightSquared.

In addition to the $2.9 billion of assets already contributed by Harbinger Capital Partners and affiliates, LightSquared is announcing additional debt and equity financing of up to $1.75 billion.

"LightSquared will be a disruptive force in the U.S. wireless landscape by democratizing wireless broadband services," said Sanjiv Ahuja, the company's newly appointed chairman and CEO. "We're not only delivering exciting opportunities for manufacturers and retailers, but also real change for consumers, dealers, and service providers. We're providing everyone, including underserved communities, with a fast, reliable experience regardless of where they are located in the United States. This network will return our country to its rightful position as a leader in wireless broadband technology and solidify its reputation as the center of global innovation."

  • In March 2010, The FCC approved the transfer of control of SkyTerra to Harbinger Capital Partners. SkyTerra is building two new satellites for a next generation ancillary terrestrial network, which will offer ubiquitous mobile + satellite communications across North America.

  • In January 2006, SkyTerra (formerly named Mobile Satellite Ventures) selected Boeing to build and deliver two Space-Based Networks (SBN), consisting of two 702HP satellites, four uplink gateway sites, and Ground-Based Beam Forming (GBBF) equipment. The first of two SkyTerra next-generation satellites is planned for launch this year aboard an ILS Proton rocket.

  • Sanjiv Ahuja is the Chairman and CEO of LightSquared. From 2004 until 2007, Sanjiv was Chief Executive Officer of Orange.

  • Drew Caplan serves as Chief Network Officer, where he is responsible for the company’s
    network engineering and technology functions, as well as leading the development and deployment of
    the company’s next generation network. He previously served as CNO for SkyTerra Communications prior
    to its acquisition by LightSquared. From 1996 to 2005, he founded and led Nextel Communications’ national engineering organization, responsible for development, engineering, planning, and deployment of new technologies, products, and services, highlighted by the introduction of Nextel’s nationwide and international Push-to-Talk feature.

  • Frank Boulben serves as LightSquared's chief marketing officer. Previously, he was group commercial director at Vodafone and group chief marketing officer at Orange. He also served on the Board of the GSMA from 2004 to 2006 and was chairman of the Board Strategy Committee.

See also