Sprint likely to bolt from the LightSquared deal next week, get its LTE fix from elsewhere

Sprint likely to bolt from the LightSquared deal next week, get its LTE fix from elsewhere
According to "two people familiar with the matter", Sprint's dedication to the troubled LightSquared project of billionaire Philip Falcone is quickly waning.

The carrier is supposedly ready to announces it will ditch its agreement with the LTE wholesaler as early as next week. Sprint signed an 11-year deal with the venture, provided that LightSquared receives all the necessary regulatory approvals by December.

Witnessing the troubles with GPS systems interference causing the FCC to block the network expansion, Sprint pushed its own deadline until March 15, but is unlikely to do it again.

The deal was supposed to see LightSquared receive 13.5 billion over the course of 11 years of payments and service credits combined, in order to allow Sprint to use its LTE network. Oh, well, it's back to square one and Clearwire for Sprint's LTE now.

Mr Falcone was hoping to become a dumb pipe network wholesaler and rival the largest US carriers, investing $3 billion of its own hedge fund money in LightSquared, so this is just another blow to the already long list of troubles for the venture.

source: Bloomberg

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17 Comments

1. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

I see this Lightsquared thing ending up in court for some reason, with GPS and FCC on the receiving end of the suit.

2. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I've been saying that Sprint should use Clear rather than Lightsquared, since Sprint is majority owner of Clear. They should just buy the rest of Clear so that they could do what they want.

3. archangel9

Posts: 233; Member since: Feb 07, 2010

javascript:;They might as well.After all Clearwire has a memo on their site stating about using LTE anyways.Since Sprint is the majority shareholder,they should be getting into that. Now for Mr.Hesse,I want to know that if and when LTE launches,what about people who have the E4GT,Photon,Evos.Is there going to be OTA updates for them to use LTE or do we have to get a new handset?

4. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Lol, you can't install a new radio ota.

5. ECPirate37

Posts: 347; Member since: Jul 14, 2011

Squallz506, I couldn't have said it better myself.

6. T00muchF00D

Posts: 98; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

Im sorry arcangel but you must not know much about phones and how they work lol

11. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

The people who have sprint phones now will have nice paperweights and media players in a few years. The 3G and iDen networks are being shut down, and the 4G WiMAX network is going the way of the dodo because Clear hasn't found it to be good enough, and will be sacrificing it to convert to LTE, which requires all new radios and transmitters This is why I only use GSM carriers. It's a global standard, it's integrated with UMTS (HSUPA and HSPA+, considered to be 4G) and a simple SIM swap lets me switch phones at will.

10. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Problem with that is that Clear is fully invested in WiMAX, and that's been less than satisfactory, and while they've announced plans to develop LTE in the future, they don't have the capability of doing so without sacrificing the WiMAX network at the same time. In short, sprint's not looking like too good a prospect, especially with their plans to scrap their iDen and 3G CDMA networks to release a newer improved 3G with better structure penetration

12. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

@skymitch Sprint doesn't have the money for buying Clear outright. They're still paying off the iphone investment, the previous (and essentially failed) WiMAX investment, and they're raising prices for their "tenants" like Virgin to try to make up the differences that they're missing, plus the fact that they can't afford to keep up the unlimited services much longer (look what happened to Virgin and Boost) as they're losing money on it for a majority of their users

7. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Well, considering Verizon shares some of its network with Sprint and others I wouldn't be surprised if there was a short term deal between the two. Verizon's putting up more towers and in the process of buying more spectrum.

8. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

2 words.. Sprint sux..

9. Ebeboi01

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

sprint sucks bigtime...

13. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I would assume that Sprint phasing out its iDEN network would be used for LTE instead. Guess I was wrong.?

14. Humboldt1

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

How long will Dan Hesse keep his job? After the B.O.D. flagrantly vetoed the metropcs deal that Dan backed No lightsquared,and forcing iOS to impress his grandkids.Thinking that would lure gazillions of users to buyout their contracts at at+t and verizon for "unlimited" everything,(plus $10 smartphone fee,shhh) don't forget insurance because you sure as $h!t don't want to have to buy one at msrp. Buy sprint stock now

15. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

I am very surprised that the Sprint CEO still has his job. Usually a public company would've already burned him at the stake for half of what this bozo managed to screw up.

16. Locke629

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

I don't understand how writers of these articles keep thinking that sprint is relying on a particular company for lte..... Its been reported countless times and a basic google search on sprints Network Vision plan would show the average person what sprint is doing. Sprints lightsquared deal comprised of sprint hosting their (lightsquareds) lte frequency on their new network vision towers and Sprint being paid money by lightsquared for that build out and hosting. All the while Sprint running their OWN LTE network off their 1900 mhz frequency. And yes, the nextel network is being shut down slowly. that 800 mhz band will then be refarmed for 1xx and LTE. And of course if the network for lightsquared was built out, there would be roaming agreements between the two. clearwire is a whole other mess considering they run at 2.5ghz and that frequency had poor in building penetration.

17. OverByter

Posts: 3; Member since: May 13, 2012

Don't forget also that just because Sprint is the majority shareholder in Clearwire the deal is structured so that Clear still has the controlling interest in the venture.

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