LightSquared strikes wholesale LTE deal with Smarter Car

LightSquared, which wants to build a nationwide, wholesale LTE network in the L-band satellite spectrum, announced a wholesale deal with Smarter Car, a new company that aims to offer mobile services that give auto dealerships and drivers access to information ranging from vehicle maintenance diagnostics to location-sharing.

According to the agreement, Smarter Car will sell devices and connectivity directly to automobile dealerships who will in turn offer these as options to customers when they purchase new cars. The Smarter Car device will attach to an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)-specified port, and using LightSquared's LTE network, will allow drivers and dealerships to use smart phones, tablets or PCs to access and analyze a variety of data about the car.

Smarter Car chose LightSquared because the company plans to build a hybrid satellite/terrestrial network. It needs connectivity beyond the range of cellular networks.

"Smarter Car will connect cars with people, and using LightSquared's network we will be able to create an informative, real-time experience for consumers and dealers," said Lonnie Benson, chief executive officer of Smarter Car, in a release. "LightSquared will allow us to take advantage of the most advanced wireless technology to create valuable applications that will help dealers and drivers maintain the value and improve the safety of their vehicles."

This is the second deal non-traditional wholesale deal LightSquared has made, despite the uncertainty surrounding the company's plans. The GPS community remains concerns about interference coming from its proposed commercial network, and the FCC is still deciding whether to allow the company to launch commercially. Last month LightSquared inked a deal with geo-social digital radio service Soundtracker to deliver more cost-efficient access to online music regardless of the listener's location.

For more:
- see this release

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