Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Airspan to Resell LightSquared LTE for SmartGrid Backhaul

Airspan Networks announced an agreement to exclusively market LightSquared's 1.4 GHz wireless spectrum for Smart Grid and Smart Utility applications. Specifically, Airspan will market the 1.4 GHz wireless backhaul solution, including spectrum, equipment and services for Smart Grid applications in the electric, gas and water utility sectors in the United States. The 1.4 GHz licensed spectrum will be managed by Airspan and will be made available to utilities in their distinct geographic markets. Access to this spectrum will enable utilities to
establish optimized proprietary grid management networks.

The companies said that until now, access to licensed spectrum has been a critical "missing link" in planning and implementing wireless Smart Grid communications for middle-mile backhaul applications and for last-mile access.

"The combination of equipment and licensed spectrum eliminates the problem of relying on interference susceptible shared frequencies for mission critical applications," said Paul Senior, Chief Technical Officer, Airspan.

  • LightSquared, which is the new company backed by Harbinger Capital Partners, recently 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.