LightSquared announced on Tuesday that it has named Marc Montagner as Chief Financial Officer. Montagner replaces Michael Montemarano, who left the firm in November. Montagner specializes in mergers and acquisitions, having previously worked for Dupont Circle Partners and Sprint Nextel Corporation. LightSquared is looking to build its network on 1600MHz frequency spectrum and deploy a 4G LTE network that Sprint is planning to use in part to accelerate its own LTE roll-out. LightSquared’s network has yet gain approval from the Federal Communications Commission, however, which recently issued a report stating that the company’s network still interferes with GPS technology. LightSquared promptly replied to the new report and demanded approval, claiming that any interference with GPS devices is caused by GPS signals partially transmitting on LightSquared’s spectrum. Sprint recently granted LightSquared an additional 30 day to gain approval before its pending deal may be canceled. Read more for a full copy of the press release. More →
Sprint recently told LightSquared that it has an additional 30 days to gain approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch its 4G LTE network. Sprint said in March that it would deploy part of its planned 4G LTE network using LightSquared’s 1600MHz frequency spectrum, but LightSquared has yet to prove to the FCC that adjustments to its network no longer interfere with GPS technology. Sprint originally gave LightSquared until December 31st to gain the approval, which The Wall Street Journal said is a condition of the 15-year partnership. On December 15th, the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation both announced that they “still see an interference problem with the network.” LightSquared responded a few days later demanding approval from the FCC. “LightSquared has had FCC authorization to build its network for over eight years and that authorization was endorsed by the GPS industry, and fully reviewed and allowed to proceed by several other government agencies,” LightSquared’s executive vice president of regulatory affairs and public policy Jeff Carlisle said. “Commercial GPS device-makers have had nearly a decade to design and sell devices that do not infringe on LightSquared’s licensed spectrum. They have no right to complain in the eleventh-hour about incompatibility when they had ample opportunity to avoid this problem.” More →
LightSquared on Tuesday issued a letter to the Federal Communications Commission ostensibly demanding approval to build out its 4G LTE network. LightSquared executive vice president of regulatory affairs and public policy Jeff Carlisle argued that the GPS industry has had almost 10 years to address issues that cause GPS satellite signals to partially transmit on spectrum that LightSquared has licensed. The letter was written in response to an announcement earlier this week from federal officials, stating that they were still concerned about interference LightSquared’s network causes with GPS equipment after conducting a new investigation into the matter. “LightSquared has had FCC authorization to build its network for over eight years and that authorization was endorsed by the GPS industry, and fully reviewed and allowed to proceed by several other government agencies,” Carlisle wrote in the letter. “Commercial GPS device-makers have had nearly a decade to design and sell devices that do not infringe on LightSquared’s licensed spectrum. They have no right to complain in the eleventh-hour about incompatibility when they had ample opportunity to avoid this problem.” A link to LightSquared’s full letter follows below. More →
LightSquared’s intentions to build a brand new 4G LTE network has gained nationwide attention, but over the past few months the attention has been turned to the network’s tendency to interfere with GPS devices. On Thursday, federal officials said they were still concerned about GPS interference despite a number of measures LightSquared has taken to address those issues. The company announced in late October that it worked with PCTEL to develop a new antenna that “[resolves] concerns over high precision GPS receivers.” Unfortunately, the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation still see an interference problem with the network. Read on for more. More →
LightSquared, a wholesaler of satellite and terrestrial broadband services, took to the stage at the Open Mobile Summit on Wednesday to clarify the company’s goal: to be America’s dumbest pipe. “LightSquared is building the ultimate dumb pipe,” LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said in his keynote address according to Light Reading. “We want to be the dumbest wireless broadband pipe. No intelligence in our network. None. Zero.” While traditional wireless carriers focus on a variety of services and monetization strategies, LightSquared wants to operate as a utility company might, piping its service to as many customers as possible through as many resale partners as possible. The future of LightSquared’s 4G LTE plans are still up in the air, however, as its service has been found to interfere with spectrum used by various GPS solutions. The firm is working on resolving those issues, though solutions that involve retrofitting GPS antennas with filters or adopting new antenna technology haven’t been well received. More →
LightSquared announced on Thursday that, in cooperating with PCTEL, it has developed a new antenna that will help “resolve concerns over high precision GPS receivers.” LightSquared’s 4G LTE network, which will be deployed in the 1600MHz frequency spectrum with Sprint, has been found to interfere with the frequencies used by GPS and personal navigation systems. The new antenna helps alleviate those concerns, despite speculation that a fix could require billions of dollars and take upwards of a decade. “PCTEL has developed GPS antenna solutions that have solved a variety of interference issues that others said were unsolvable,” LightSquared executive vice president Martin Harriman said. “Their wideband antenna provides an efficient and elegant solution for thousands of high precision device users.” The new solution will soon undergo testing with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration as well as with the Federal Communications Commission. Read on for the full press release. More →
This has been a crazy, crazy, crazy week so far, but it’s not over yet. Sprint is holding a “Strategy Update” meeting Friday morning in New York City and BGR will be reporting live to bring you all the news as it unfolds. Will we hear more about Sprint’s deal with Apple and the iPhone? Perhaps. Will we hear more about Sprint’s plan to find a way out of its current 4G jam? Almost certainly. No one knows exactly what’s in store from Sprint tomorrow, but we have a pretty good feeling we’re in for a jaw-dropper or two.
Bookmark this link, which will go live tomorrow morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of the Sprint Strategy Update meeting. Coverage will begin just before 9:30 a.m. Eastern.
Wholesale wireless reseller LightSquared announced on Monday that Sharp will manufacture smartphones and tablets capable of running on its 4G LTE network. LightSquared said that it will demo the first devices during the upcoming CTIA Wireless trade show in San Diego, California. “Sharp has a rich history of producing unique products that push the extremes of design and functionality, and we’re proud that they will be developing innovative devices for LightSquared’s 4G-LTE network,” LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said. “LightSquared’s wholesale-only business model and open network will provide Sharp with a platform from which they can aggressively expand into the U.S. wireless market with an exciting portfolio of smartphones and tablets.” Sprint announced an LTE partnership with LightSquared on July 28th, and we expect to hear more about its 4G LTE plans on Friday during its Strategy Media Update event in New York City. Read on for the full press release from LightSquared. More →
Sprint will deploy its 4G LTE network early next year and has already started to deploy the required equipment, CNET reported on Tuesday. Reportedly, Sprint is also already testing the network, although sources speaking to CNET did not reveal where the tests were occurring. The move is enabled by Sprint’s “Network Vision” plans, which it first discussed in December 2010. During our recent tour of Sprint’s facilities in Overland Park, Kansas, when Sprint CEO Dan Hesse confirmed that the carrier’s 4G plans would be discussed this fall, we were able to snap a few photos of an Ericsson E-Node Base Transceiver System (BTS). Sprint explained at the time that, should it decide to move to an LTE network, engineers just had to add an LTE card to the BTS and perform the required tests to get a new network up and running. Sprint has also already announced a deal with Lightsqured to deliver 4G LTE support to its customers, although it has not yet been discussed when the roll-out will occur. BGR will be attending a Sprint “Strategy Update” in New York City on October 7th where we expect to hear more about Sprint’s future 4G plans. More →
In a note to investors on Tuesday, BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk raised his rating on Sprint stock from Sell to Neutral without indicating a new price target. Piecyk had previously set his price target at $3.13, but noted that the stock now trades under five times BTIG’s 2012 earnings estimate, which is below consensus. The firm notes that it is not moving to a Buy rating because Sprint’s stock may fall further still, due to uncertain earnings, high debt leverage, lack of free cash flow and a worrisome 4G strategy. Piecyk believes that Sprint “needs to develop a clear 4G strategy including financing or taking control of Clearwire.” While BTIG did revise its estimates downward based on lower potential margins due to increased roaming costs, increased Network Vision expenses and the potential need for increased handset subsidies, it notes that upcoming events such as the resolution of Sprint’s Clearwire relationship and the potential launch of Apple’s iPhone 5 could have a positive impact on Sprint’s performance.
Sprint on Thursday announced that it has inked a deal with LightSquared will see 4G LTE services built out on its massive nationwide network. LightSquared will pay Sprint $9 billion over 15 years for the right to build out its LTE network using Sprint infrastructure, and Sprint will also get a total of $4.5 billion in credits toward LTE and satellite service. Equally important to the nation’s No. 3 carrier, the deal will allow it to save about $13 billion in network build-out costs and cover 260 million Americans with its 4G LTE service by 2015. “This spectrum hosting agreement with LightSquared allows Sprint to more efficiently use its Network Vision platform,” said Steve Elfman, Sprint’s president of Network Operations and Wholesale, in a statement. “In addition to improving our cash flow, it provides additional options and flexibility in how we meet our customers’ future capacity needs.” The new deal is hardly unexpected, but it looks like those Network Vision boxes will come in handy sooner than some might have expected. Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
Later this month, Sprint will formally announce its plans to bring 4G LTE service to its subscribers via a network-sharing deal with Virginia-based LightSquared, CNET reports. The move, seen as inevitable by some, was outed last month when LightSquared owner Philip Falcone revealed the deal in a letter to Harbinger Capital Partners investors. “Sprint will become a significant customer of LightSquared’s 4G LTE network,” Falcone stated in the letter. The deal, which could be worth as much as $20 billion over the next 15 years according to an earlier report, will let Sprint’s U.S. network be used as the backbone for LightSquared’s 4G LTE buildout. CNET says the deal will be revealed on July 28th when Sprint reports its earnings for the June quarter. More →
Sprint has reached a deal to deploy a 4G LTE network with LightSquared, Bloomberg reports. The deal could be worth as much as $20 billion over the next 15 years according to the report. “LightSquared and Sprint will jointly develop, deploy and operate LightSquared’s 4G LTE network,” LightSquared owner Philip Falcone wrote in a letter to Harbinger Capital Partners investors on Friday. “Sprint will become a significant customer of LightSquared’s 4G LTE network.” It is unclear what implications the deal might have for Sprint’s current 4G WiMAX network. A Sprint spokesperson declined to comment. More →