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LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers

Ray Le Maistre
10/7/2010
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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 network
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.)

The chipset
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.

The devices
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

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joset01
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joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:21:39 PM
re: LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers


I agree that it is going to be a lot of hard work. The LightSquared people tell me they plan to work across 2G, 3G, LTE and, of course, satellite. It seems like that's going to be a big radio and chipset, not even taking into account battery power on the device or handover across the infrastructure.


I suspect they'll need much more money and I'd love to see how they pull it all together.

joset01
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joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:21:39 PM
re: LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers


Qualcomm as chip supplier is sure to keep the end-device prices nice and low ;-)

kaps
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kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:21:39 PM
re: LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers


I'd love to see a show of hands from the audience on who thinks this network will ever actually launch. Still sounds like a huge shell game to me. Or are we not learning any lessons from Open Range?


Build it and they will come is a good idea for a Costner movie, not so much for a broadband network.

kaps
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kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:21:39 PM
re: LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers


I'd love to see a show of hands from the audience on who thinks this network will ever actually launch. Still sounds like a huge shell game to me. Or are we not learning any lessons from Open Range?


Build it and they will come is a good idea for a Costner movie, not so much for a broadband network.

gowestpat
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gowestpat,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:21:34 PM
re: LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers


First of all I commend the bold aspirations of this venture and founders. The whole magic is on the size of user terminals, acceptable handset power requirements. There is not much technical risk in Lightsquared program with geo-stationary satellites and proven  matured terrestrial infrastructure unlike IRIDIUM. IRIDIUM the $7B (1990 dollars)program was one of the most advanced engineering feats of the world at the time it was conceived. Yes - it is short of rocket science making it to work with revolving low orbit satellites across the planet earth (albeit it is challenge for deep inside buildings access) . I am not sure if IRIDIUM would have been a commercially viable program if it had not gone through debt restructring the way it did. I hope these guys will not have to go through that path,


With Geo stationary satellites, voice and critical/jitter sensitive applications data will have to always go through the terrestrial RANs. All else can go via geo satellites to relieve peak demand and other congestions.


Imagine peak hour congestions in one city terrestrial cell site - you automatically switch to satellite and switch back to another terrestrial cell not so busy (perhaps as close as another 40 miles in suburbun area) and connected by global terrestrial IP network the packet reaches the destination. 


With flat IP architecture of 4G netwroks, this long path is still a worthwhile path except perhaps for voice type applications. I am excited about this company prospectus except of course the user terminal adaption.  Forget about satellite and terrestrial network complexity - get a strong user device manufacturer on board - like Apple ?


 

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