LightSquared, the Harbinger Capital Partners-owned company that plans to launch a wholesale LTE networks nationwide, has reportedly obtained a $750-million four-year loan from UBS AG, according to a report in Bloomberg.
The loan is reportedly secured by assets and subsidiaries of LightSquared, the publication reported, citing two unnamed sources. The venture announced in July it had secured $1.75 billion in initial funding commitments. Analysts have estimated that LightSquared needs about $5 billion to build out the network. Harbinger has roughly $3 billion, or 40 percent of its fund's portfolio, tied up with its wireless venture LightSquared, according to published reports.
LightSquared has said its wholesale LTE network will allow for terrestrial-only, satellite-only or integrated satellite-terrestrial services (via the terrestrial and MSS spectrum Harbinger scored through a merger in March with satellite operator SkyTerra). LightSquared is planning initial LTE trials in Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix, with commercial launches planned by the third quarter of 2011. The company, which has access to 59 MHz of spectrum, has said its network will consist of around 40,000 cellular base stations covering 92 percent of the U.S. population by 2015.
The company inked a $7 billion contract with Nokia Siemens Networks in July to design and build the network, and analysts have speculated that NSN might provide LightSquared with vendor financing to defray the cost of building the network.
- see this Bloomberg article
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