LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers
With more cash on hand, and rivals ramping up their service launches, LightSquared -- which is building a national, wholesale Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the US -- has pinned down some of its own plans and announced a group of chip and device partners that will help develop its ecosystem. (See LightSquared Announces Partners, LightSquared Lands $850M for LTE Build , and CTIA 2010: Verizon Ups LTE Launch to 38 Cities.)
The boards of LightSquared and its chief infrastructure supplier, Nokia Networks , have approved the eight-year, US$7 billion deal for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the network, which is to consist of about 40,000 base stations and cover 92 percent of the US population by 2015. (See NSN Lands $7B LTE Deal in US .)
The site acquisition process has begun, and it has struck a satellite spectrum deal. That deal will supplement its existing 59MHz of spectrum, which is mostly in the 1.6GHz band, also known as the "L-band." (See Harbinger Hatches LTE Challenger in US and LightSquared Eyes L-Band for LTE.)
Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) is integrating L-Band LTE technology into its chipset roadmap, and has developed a satellite air interface technology called EGAL (Enhanced Geostationary Air Link) that will enable the satellite mode in devices that hook up to the LightSquared network. Qualcomm is adding L-Band LTE and EGAL to a number of products, including its MDM9600 multimode chipset that can be used by device makers to build hybrid cellular/satellite products.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is to produce branded LTE devices, while AnyDATA and BandRich Inc. will provide "embedded modules, USB data modems, and other devices which will launch during the second half of 2011."
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading