Rumor: LightSquared Ready to Spend Big on LTE

LightSquared could spend between $1.25 billion and $1.5 billion on deploying its LTE network in the US in 2011, with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Nokia Networks being among the chief beneficiaries of the 4G-related contracts, according to Avian Securities LLC .

Catharine Trebnick, Avian's senior research analyst, issued a research note Tuesday tracking the anticipated capex spend by LightSquared in 2011. Trebnick notes that LightSquared could start service in initial markets as early as June or July this year with nine Midwest markets expected to be lit up this year. (See LightSquared Names LTE Suppliers.) "Our industry checks suggest that LightSquared would most likely use Juniper for aggregation and core routers and Cisco for backhaul cell site routers and the mobile core," Trebnick writes. The value of the Juniper deal is estimated at $300 million-plus over the lifetime of the contract.

Earlier estimates by UBS AG suggested in October that Juniper could have a contract with LightSquared. Cisco, however, is a new name in the frame for the Harbinger Capital Partners LP -backed venture.

NSN was named as LightSquared's LTE network infrastructure provider back in July 2010. The contract is worth $7 billion to NSN over eight years. (See NSN Lands $7B LTE Deal in US .)

LightSquared will need additional funding down the line to complete its deployment plans. The company currently says on its website that it has $2.9 billion of assets "already contributed by Harbinger Capital Partners and affiliates" and "additional debt and equity financing of up to $1.75 billion." (See LightSquared Lands $850M for LTE Build .)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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