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4G/3G/WiFi

LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

LightSquared published an open letter on Monday from the company's CEO Sanjiv Ahuja, appealing to the U.S. public to rally support for its wholesale Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.

In a letter addressed to "Americans everywhere" and published in major U.S. newspapers, Ahuja made his case for the LightSquared network.

In particular, Ahuja addressed the worries about GPS interference and detailed LightSquared's efforts to resolve the problem, all of which have been done "despite the fact that the interference is caused by others' inappropriate use of LightSquared's licensed spectrum."

Ahuja claimed that LightSquared had resolved 99.5 percent of all commercial GPS interference and was now working on the remaining .5 percent of interference "occurring on precision devices." He also noted that his company was investing US$150 million in the interference fix. (See LightSquared Claims High-Precision GPS Fix.)

The letter also stated that LightSquared is committed to pumping $14 billion of private investment into U.S. infrastructure, which would create 75,000 jobs over the next five years.

Here are some extracts from the letter:
    America’s wireless infrastructure is at a critical crossroad as weak signals, dead-zones, and over-subscribed networks risk stalling American innovation and failing to meet consumer needs now and in the future ...

    The current nationwide wireless providers have failed to innovate and in the process have failed to keep pace with consumer and technological demands ...

    Regulators from both Democrat and Republican Administrations have conducted reviews and tests of the LightSquared network -- the most extensive in the history of the FCC -- and both have reached the same conclusions: they support the LightSquared network.


The full text of the letter is here.

Why this matters
LightSquared's open letter shows the lengths the company needs to go in order to gain more support for its wholesale LTE network as it comes under increasing regulatory scrutiny over concerns about interference with GPS.

For more
For more on LightSquared and the GPS interference situation, see these stories:

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:52:45 PM
re: LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

I wonder if the price of mobile broadband services would drop any if another nationwide competitor were out there signing up subscribers. 

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:52:38 PM
re: LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

The thing I can't understand about their business model is -- who or what is out there with the marketing dollars to compete against Verizon and AT&T when those companies pull in tens of billions in cash per quarter? 


And if some competitor could magically appear... they would have to build the kludge of a network that combines their billing with Lightsquared's back end... and then somehow market this at a lower cost or better service than the two giants. Who, if that were to pass... could cut costs for 6 months or a year and eat the loss while the new competitor crumbles.


You can dream of a Wal-mart branded phone but... the math doesn't add up to Lightsquared ever getting enough customers to survive.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:52:38 PM
re: LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

The thing I can't understand about their business model is -- who or what is out there with the marketing dollars to compete against Verizon and AT&T when those companies pull in tens of billions in cash per quarter? 


And if some competitor could magically appear... they would have to build the kludge of a network that combines their billing with Lightsquared's back end... and then somehow market this at a lower cost or better service than the two giants. Who, if that were to pass... could cut costs for 6 months or a year and eat the loss while the new competitor crumbles.


You can dream of a Wal-mart branded phone but... the math doesn't add up to Lightsquared ever getting enough customers to survive.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:52:37 PM
re: LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

Isn't the bookstore an AT&T customer not a competitor?


And would Apple offer a service and take on the headaches of customer care instead of selling its phones through multiple providers? Or Google? It would be interesting to see what might happen to the royalty payments for iPhones (or the number of Android phones offered) if that should happen.


(Interestingly enough heard some Sprint execs today say that the savings of having less customer care costs is part of why they are keeping unlimited data plans in place... for now)


And I think you said something about "Microsoft" and "phone" and I am not sure the two words are compatible in a sentence. Oh, wait, they bought Skype... umm... sure, that will all work out. No problem with culture integration there.


I hope you are right and I am wrong but... feeling extra cynical today.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:52:37 PM
re: LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

Isn't the bookstore an AT&T customer not a competitor?


And would Apple offer a service and take on the headaches of customer care instead of selling its phones through multiple providers? Or Google? It would be interesting to see what might happen to the royalty payments for iPhones (or the number of Android phones offered) if that should happen.


(Interestingly enough heard some Sprint execs today say that the savings of having less customer care costs is part of why they are keeping unlimited data plans in place... for now)


And I think you said something about "Microsoft" and "phone" and I am not sure the two words are compatible in a sentence. Oh, wait, they bought Skype... umm... sure, that will all work out. No problem with culture integration there.


I hope you are right and I am wrong but... feeling extra cynical today.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:52:37 PM
re: LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

Wouldn't it be cool if Apple, MSFT or Google provided a nationwide 4G service (via LightSquared)?


I think one of those companies might be able to attract a customer or two.


Point being, I wouldn't think of AT&T's next challenger in wireless as a telecom or cable company. Remember that one of AT&T's biggest competitors in cloud services is a book store.


ph

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:52:36 PM
re: LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

The big point I tried (failed) to make is that the next big mobile success story could be some company that isn't a traditional mobile brand name.


Once you commoditize the network and add intelligent services on top of it, other non-traditional players can come in and provide better and more interesting services to consumers than the companies we rely on for mobile services today.


 

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:52:36 PM
re: LightSquared: We're the Good Guys

 


So to me the question is WWVMD?


Let me spell it out "What Would Virgin Mobile Do?"


I am using them as an example, but what would make them switch/expand/change from Sprint to Lightsquared?  I would think if we could understand what would drive one of today's MVNOs to do something then we could see the possibilities.


Isn't that what Lightsquared is about - Build a White Labelable Mobile Network?


seven


 

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