Sprint moves to LTE, inks a 15-year deal with LightSquared

Sprint moves to LTE, inks a 15-year deal with LightSquared
After countless rumors, Sprint, the nation's third-largest carrier and the only one among the four major opeartors to use WiMAX for its 4G services has just announced a 15-year deal with wholesale 4G LTE network LightSquared to adopt LTE, the company said in a statement. Under the deal, Sprint will get $9 billion from LightSquared over spectrum hosting and network services in the course of 11 years, and an additional $4.5 billion in credits for LTE and satellite service. In return, LightSquared will get roaming access to the carrier's 3G network in 2012, while the carrier can buy 50% of its 4G capacity.

Most importantly, though, the network is expected to cover nearly 260 million Americans by 2015. LightSquared will also save $13 billion over network construction costs. 

The news breaks just before Sprint reports its quarterly results and we'll surely hear more about this later in the day during the company's conference call. The most intriguing question seems to be about the future of the carrier's existing WiMAX network and its relationship with network services provider Clearwire.

"With our next generation satellite already operational and our independent core network build underway, LightSquared is now well positioned to meet the fast-growing market demand for wireless broadband services with its wholesale-only integrated 4G-LTE and satellite network," the company's CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said.

source: Sprint



1. johnny boy unregistered

Wow! ....sprint just continues to amaze. good move on there part. LTE is the way to go...Now.....they can seal the deal with getting the I-phone.......

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

This is a major move for Sprint. Now they have access to 4G LTE. Also another intriguing option available though Sprint is Satellite Technology. In theory Sprint can get reception in places where both Verizon & AT&T can't with their towers. If you have an open view to the sky you should get service from a satellite. So if you are literally in the middle of nowhere then you can still make a call even if the nearest tower is 100 miles away. The future looks great for Sprint now, with or without an iPhone under its lineup! Good job Sprint, the future IS bright!

3. Gawain

Posts: 448; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

Considering that LightSquared still has not been able to prove their spectrum, intended for use in satellite communications and GPS traffic, does not interfere with other satellite signaling in adjacent frequencies, I suspect this agreement is premature. If the FCC sinks LightSquared's plans, this agreement is toast. Given that the major GPS providers and Department of Defense have already cited interference problems, LightSquared could end up being another albatross, just like the one that Clearwire has become.

8. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

It has been demonstrated that the reason Lightsquared's signals interfere with GPS is that GPS is infringing upon the spectrum that Lightsquared legally owns. GPS fault, not Lightsquared's fault. GPS networks need to fix thier sh!t or FCC needs to give Lightsqaured new spectrum if they auctioned off a block already in use [or at least give Lightsquared thier money back so they can buy different spectrum] http://www.phonearena.com/news/GPS-industry-is-to-blame-for-interference-with-LTE-signal-says-LightSquared_id20003

14. Gawain

Posts: 448; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

In this month's GPS World, they report that LightSquared's Las Vegas testing is flawed, the test data slams medium and high-precision GPS receivers, and that LightSquared's rebuttals distort the the true record. The National PNT Engineering Forum has called for the FCC to rescind the waiver. LightSquared owns spectrum that was not designated for terrestrial use. If they can make this work, great, but if they can't, someone needs to make a decision and settle the matter once and for all. http://www.gpsworld.com/L2hot

19. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

Now LightSquared is stepping forward to help resolve the problem. In contrast, the GPS device manufacturers, unlike relevant government agencies, have been largely uninterested in finding a win-win solution. Rather, their only answer to a problem of their own making is to demand that the government simply block LightSquared from using the company’s own spectrum. The request to use the spectrum for terrestrial use was open for comment by the GPS industry for over a year with little to no protest Despite the GPS industry’s claims, the FCC does not face a stark choice between reliable GPS service and a new competitor in the broadband market. In fact, the testing results released today show LightSquared’s proposed solution resolves interference for approximately 99.5 percent of all commercial GPS devices- including 100 percent of the 300 million GPS-enabled cell phones. the interference is not the result of LightSquared’s signal bleeding in to the GPS frequencies. LightSquared has spent the last eight years investing in filters and other technologies to make sure its signals stayed within its assigned frequencies. In contrast, the commercial GPS industry never took steps to ensure that it kept to its own assigned frequencies. GPS device test results show unequivocally that the interference is caused by the GPS device manufacturer's decision over the last eight years to design products that depend on using spectrum assigned to other FCC licensees. legacy GPS receivers do not adequately reject transmissions from base stations operating in the adjacent frequency band because the GPS receivers have been deliberately or, sometimes, inadvertently, designed or manufactured with the assumption that there would be no adjacent-band terrestrial transmissions — ignoring regulations first adopted in 2003 that permit such transmissions. While the GPS device manufacturers have offered many justifications for this assumption — justifications that are not supported by the plain facts of the FCC record or, for that matter, by the FCC — it is inescapable that it is their disregard for the Commission’s policies regarding the immunity of receivers to transmissions in nearby frequency bands that is the source of the technical problem. This is a problem that the GPS industry could have avoided by equipping their devices over the last several years with filters that cost as little as five cents each.

4. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

If FCC ruins this deal, like the shady Democrats they are, I am going to be pissed because that means no LTE for Sprint.

7. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Actually onboard with Miz on this. The FCC should be enforcing rules, not putting companies at a disadvantge. If Lightsquared shows signs of true efforts to work to fix their problems, this deal should have no problems. This is a classic example of 2 companies that actually NEED what the other offers.

12. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes I too am with The_Miz. I even gave him a thumbs up! He made a good point. When the man is right, he is right.

18. twenti7

Posts: 152; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Very true. Sprint and Lightsquared both need this, and they will even more so if the FCC lets the ATTmobile deal go thru.

5. rwolf1984

Posts: 536; Member since: Jun 06, 2009

4G LTE + 4G WiMax + Network Vision + Angry T-Mo Customers = Huge Wins for Sprint

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

your math is correct sir.. lol I still think sprint is going to get the bulk of pissed Tmo customers after this merger. This just helps their cause.

17. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

With an equation like that, you can get me to love math once more. lol

20. twenti7

Posts: 152; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

I barely passed my math classes in high school. If it was taught like this Im quite sure I would have aced every one.

6. KineticArc

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 29, 2011

From how I read the official press release, this doesn't seem like a bad deal for Sprint. The agreement is subject to LightSquared obtaining resolution and FCC approval of the GPS interference issues. If the interference issues can get resolved, then this deal means that Sprint will provide spectrum hosting and network services to LightSquared. This seems to me to mean that Sprint will only deploy and operate L-Band spectrum licensed to LightSquared and provide 3G roaming capabilities to LightSquared (since the towers will need updated to handle the L-band spectrum and in the meantime, LightSquared can offer 3G service through this roaming agreement). In return, LightSquared will provide $9 billion in cash for the spectrum hosting (the deployment and operation mentioned earlier), LTE purchase credits worth about $4.5 billion (which would allow Sprint a money-saving option to opt-in to the L-Band LTE), and the opportunity to purchase up to 50% of LightSquared's L-Band 4G capacity. This does not mean that Sprint is going to use LightSqaured's 4G LTE L-Band spectrum. It only means that if Sprint wants to use it, it has the option to do so more cost competitively. Said in the voice of Obi-Wan Kanobi, "This is not the 4G deal you are looking for." It only gives Sprint an option for 4G LTE rollout. Dan Hesse said to wait for Fall to hear an announcement on their 4G plans. During that press announcement, this might end up being Sprint's primary 4G plan. But as of right now, I don't see how this announcement means they are absolutely using LightSquared as its primary 4G LTE provider. It only means that Sprint will deploy and operate towers needed for LightSquared's L-Band spectrum (as well as provide LightSqaured customers with 3G roaming capabilities), and in return, Sprint gets cash, credits for POSSIBLE L-Band use, and the POTENTIAL to buy half of the L-band LTE capacity. Sources:http://newsroom.sprint.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1989http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20084472-94/sprint-lightsquared-unveil-network-sharing-deal/

9. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

Yes, Lightsquared owns spectrum, Sprint owns network: put the two together and they both save money and can offer expanded services to better compete with the bigger boys. Win/win winning!

10. Zach unregistered

I was honestly thinking about switching to another carrier (most likely to Verizon) cause they had a better phone lineup and so i could get 4G where i live until now, Sprint is totally changing there ways to the good, with all the phones that are going to be coming out like the Galaxy s 2 there going to have a good lineup, and now most importantly im going to have 4G LTE totally love Sprint never going to switch!!

21. twenti7

Posts: 152; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Verizon may have more "high end" phones, but they don't currently have a single phone that offers 4G, Dual Cores, and Gingerbread (out of the box), and they won't until the GS2 comes out. Sprint Has one out, one coming out in 3 days (Moto Photon) and when the SGS2 is finally released, it'll have 3. Plus with Verizon you pay more and get less. The cheapest possible plan with voice, data, and texting (450 minutes, unlimited messaging, 2GB data) is $89/month. With Sprints cheapest option you get 450 minutes (plus any mobile any time), unlimited messaging, and unlimited data for $79/month. Now with Sprint getting LTE, there is absolutely no reason to have Verizon any more, unless you're in love with the iPhone. And even that is rumored to be coming to Sprint at some point.

13. Tmachaveli

Posts: 425; Member since: Apr 01, 2011

luv them sprint boys keep up the good work

15. megamrambo

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 19, 2010

Well first off Sprint, what you need to do is reinforce your 3g network in places like southwest Georgia first. Thank!!!

16. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

Sounds like a good move for Sprint. I constantly hear complaints from my gf about how she can't connect to 4G consistently plus LTE seems to be a more future-proof technology than WiMAXX. That combined with being the cheapest carrier out there & also still toting unlimited data could be Sprint in the runnings. Their phone lineup has always been decent so this is just more ammo for them Sprint. Good luck Sprint.

22. Lemenade unregistered

The questions are ; When will it be available? Will it only be available on certain phones? What will happen to WiMAX and any phones on it ? These are all questions that sprint needs to answer sooner rather than later... They need to make a come back from what i read in this acticle;http://www.phonearena.com/news/Sprint-posts-wider-loss-in-Q2-as-subscribers-flock-to-other-carriers_id20722

23. CluckCluckNAway unregistered

Fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed. I almost feel like the chick on the old Mervyns commercials where she stood in front of the closed glass doors, looking in, saying "Open, open, open...." In this case, I want LTE to happen.

24. JimStorm unregistered

do WiMax & LTE technologies require different hardware, or can a software upgrade enable LTE access on sprint's current 4g phones? and what do you guys think this means for sprint's WiMax expansion plans? I live near detroit, which has no 4G coverage for sprint...i'm eligible for a new phone, but don't want to get locked into WiMax if sprint's no longer going to be expanding its coverage...

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