NSN Lands $7B LTE Deal in US

Nokia Networks has landed a Long Term Evolution (LTE) equipment contract with Harbinger Capital Partners LP , worth $7 billion over eight years.

The deal will be NSN's first significant LTE contract for radio access equipment in the US and follows the vendor's deal to supply IP-Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) equipment to Verizon Wireless for its LTE network.

New York-based investment firm Harbinger plans to build a national LTE network in the US using a combination of satellites and terrestrial mobile broadband and aims to sell capacity on the new network on a wholesale basis to mobile service providers. (See Harbinger Preps LTE Via Satellite, LTE Watch: Harbinger Angers AT&T & Verizon , T-Mobile Talks to Harbinger , and Harbinger Names Head of Wireless BB Venture.)

The new venture will be called LightSquared , and it will be led by Sanjiv Ahuja, former CEO of Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s Orange mobile business.

The LightSquared LTE network is reportedly scheduled to launch in the second half of next year.

The equipment supply deal with NSN, which Harbinger is expected to announce early Tuesday morning, reportedly includes network design, equipment and installation, and network operations and maintenance. The plan would see LightSquared control 59MHz of satellite spectrum, satellites, and 40,000 base stations.

The $7 billion deal with Harbinger follows hot on the heels of Nokia Siemens's news that it has agreed to acquire most of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s wireless infrastructure business for $1.2 billion, in a bid to gain a stronger position in the North American market and inside key US operator accounts. (See NSN Expands in North America With Moto Buyout, Reader Poll: NSN's Best US Fit, NSN to Buy Moto's Wireless Biz for $1.2B , NSN Back in Love With WiMax, and NSN & Moto: It's All in the Execution .)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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