Monday, February 14, 2011

LightSquared Completes Post Launch Testing

LightSquared crossed another milestone in its bid to launch a nationwide, wholesale-only, integrated wireless broadband and satellite network. The company has completed post launch testing and acceptance of the SkyTerra 1 satellite and Space-Based Network (SBN) from Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.

Boeing has successfully completed its work on integrating the satellite's communications with the ground segment to form the first integrated wireless broadband and satellite network. The satellite, among the most powerful commercial satellites ever built, and its state-of-the-art ground based beam-forming system, will provide ubiquitous nationwide coverage and enable integrated satellite-terrestrial service using products that are similar to today's typical mobile devices in terms of size, capabilities and build costs.

SkyTerra 1 was launched on November 14, 2010 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It has a 22-meter L-Band antenna and will relay high-data rate radio frequency signals to and from four LightSquared terrestrial gateways located in the United States and Canada.

LightSquared is the new company backed by Harbinger Capital Partners that is building a nationwide LTE + satellite wholesale network. The company has agreements with Qualcomm, Nokia and two other device manufacturers. Qualcomm is integrating L-Band LTE technology in its mainstream chipset roadmap and has developed a satellite air interface technology. The Enhanced Geostationary Air Link (EGAL) enables the satellite mode of operation in mobile devices. These technologies will be integrated into silicon, including Qualcomm's MDM9600 chipset, which is an LTE multi-mode solution. Nokia will supply branded, data-centric products for LightSquared customers. AnyDATA and BandRich will provide embedded modules, USB data modems, and other devices which are expected to launch during the second half of 2011.

  • In January 2011, the FCC issued a conditional waiver of the Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) Integrated Service Rule to LightSquared. This waiver will allow LightSquared's wholesale customers to provide either dual-mode or terrestrial-only devices as part of an integrated satellite-terrestrial broadband service. LightSquared said the FCC's grant of this application is an essential building block for its network.