LightSquared's First Device: SuperMiFi
The company is rumored to be working with UK-based company Deltenna Ltd. on a long-range WiFi hotspot that would connect to its LTE network. Deltenna's product is described as "MiFi on steroids" by a person familiar with the company.
Deltenna has been selling a 3G version of its WiBE (Wireless Broadband Enabler) as a mobile broadband extender that can improve rural coverage with speeds faster than ADSL. According to its datasheet, the WiBE uses directional beam-forming and interference rejection, combined with high-gain 802.11 WiFi antennas to offer a "no-configuration" connection to users at an average of 2Mbit/s downstream.
Combining souped-up WiFi with LTE could obviously significantly increase those data rates.
MiFi, whether on steroids or just this morning's burnt coffee, could prove to be something of a lifesaver for LightSquared anyway. Personal hotspots or even devices that cover a wider area with WiFi address the problem of how to disseminate LTE when there aren't a vast swathe of devices that support LTE -- in its many radio band variants -- available.
Like Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) has found, the easy availability of WiFi in many devices, combined with a single fast broadband connection, can make it much easier for users to get a variety of devices on a "4G" network. (See In Praise of Pocketspots.)
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile