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Why LightSquared could be a mobile market game-changer

Posted: , by Ken N.

Why LightSquared could be a mobile market game-changer
The mobile industry is about to undergo significant change. If AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile is approved, we will see an interesting struggle as AT&T attempts to appease their new clients, and Verizon and Sprint struggle to compete.

But beyond what we've come to know as the Big 4 looms LightSquared, which owns a large piece of wireless spectrum, and is poised to provide 4G LTE service on a number of levels.

LightSquared has been talking to Sprint about possibly sharing tower space. That collaboration might be the beginning of a powerful partnership, similar to the one between Sprint and Clearwire. It might also provide the edge Sprint needs in the post-T-Mobile market.

LightSquared has also struck a deal with Best Buy, which will resell LightSquared 4G service under the Best Buy Connect moniker. Those devices are expected in 2011. But LightSquared's best business might come from leasing their service to smaller carriers like Cricket Wireless.

Testing of the LTE network is taking place in Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. They plan to release USB modems and embedded modules before the end of 2011. And smartphones designed for the LightSquared network are expected in 2012.

We don't expect LightSquared to rise to the #4 carrier spot in T-Mobile's absence. But they will certainly become an important player, either for their own service or for the resale of their 4G service to smaller carriers. If all else fails, existing carriers will pay handsomely for LightSquared's precious spectrum.

source: Yahoo! News

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posted on 15 Apr 2011, 09:52 4

1. Gawain (Posts: 342; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


LightSquared will certainly be able to make some money off their spectrum in the wholesale space *IF* they can show to the FCC that directing their spectrum for terrestrial use will not interfere with other spectrum blocks and frequencies that have been allocated for GPS use. There was a news article a couple months ago in one of the industry publications:http://www.satellitetoday.com/broadband/headlines/Garmin-Report-Raises-Interference-Questions-Over-L ightSquared-Network_36232.html

Will LightSquared "cash-in"? I doubt it. If they're allowed to do this, they'll make some money *IF* there's industry support for it, and if manufacturers are willing to make gear that will support *another* frequency. The lead investor behind LightSquared is a hedge fund manager named Philip Falcone, and satellite bandwidth is not in high demand. He wants to recover some investment with spectrum that is traditionally not used for terrestrial transmission.

posted on 15 Apr 2011, 10:08 1

2. Slammer (Posts: 945; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


This is a very tough road for Lightsquared. I applaud their tenacity.

It is an ambitious and respectable move, but I fear the hurdles. Their city spectrum is equivalent to T-Mobile's as far as in building coverage and surrounding city areas. However, much of their spectrum for rural areas is in a frequency that is wreaking havoc on GPS signals. If this cannot be rectified, Lightsquared will be no further ahead than any smaller carrier. The other consideration of their satellite spectrum is the transmission delay that is inherent with the technology.

I would like to see more competition, but my feeling is that Lightsquared will faulted as a major contender.

John B.

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