LightSquared taps Inmarsat for more spectrum

LightSquared is executing its "Phase 2" agreement with Inmarsat that will give the Harbinger Capital Partners-backed company up to 59 megahertz of terrestrial and L-Band ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) spectrum over the United States and Canada at a cost of $115 million annually.

The deal comes after LightSquared, which plans to use satellite and terrestrial spectrum to build out a wholesale nationwide LTE network, received approval from the FCC to allow LightSquared's wholesale customers to offer either dual-mode or terrestrial-only devices. The waiver was necessary because of current rules the FCC has in place that prohibit satellite companies from offering terrestrial-only devices.

Harbinger is using 23 megahertz of spectrum it gained from merging with SkyTerra and it can also bring Terrestar Networks into the fold since it owns a stake in that satellite company. And then it has a deal with Inmarsat for additional spectrum.

"We are pleased to report that LightSquared is experiencing very strong demand for capacity on its 4G-LTE wholesale network, and therefore we have decided to accelerate the triggering of Phase 2 of our agreement with Inmarsat," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer of LightSquared, in a statement.

LighSquared has yet to announce any wholesale deals, saying it will leave those announcements to the parties that have signed deals with the company. "We've signed our first customers and we're in advanced negotiations with a number of others," a spokesman for LightSquared told Light Reading Mobile. LightSquared is supposed to make an initial launch of services by the third quarter.

For more:
- see this Light Reading Mobile article

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