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LightSquared Anticipates Close to 100 Customers

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
9/30/2011

Would-be Long Term Evolution (LTE) provider LightSquared has already signed on 17 wholesale networks before its network is even launched, but the company's CEO is hoping to add many, many more.

"We expect that number could be close to a hundred," CEO Sanjiv Ahuja says in an interview for C-SPAN's The Communicators series. He didn't say how long LightSquared might take to reach that number.

Nonetheless, he made it clear that he considers all operators -- large and small -- that need extra capacity as possible users of the LightSquared service. "We see them either as our current customers or our potential customers," Ahuja commented.

Ahuja even suggests that could include massive carriers, such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless , which will still need extra bandwidth at some point in the future. Neither AT&T and Verizon have been particularly keen, however, on the LightSquared model in the past. (See LTE Watch: Harbinger Angers AT&T & Verizon and CTIA 2011: Sparks Fly Over Spectrum Sharing.)

It wasn't clear from the interview if Ahuja expected 100 customers to be the upper limit. Since wireless is a shared medium there will be a maximum number of wholesalers that LightSquared can support and still get good network performance, particularly if the wholesalers are large carriers that could get LightSquared devices into the hands of many subscribers.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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