Report: LightSquared close to getting a $585M loan

LightSquared, the Harbinger Capital Partners-backed company that is in the process of building a nationwide LTE network, is reportedly close to securing a $585 million loan to help it fund the building of its network. According to Bloomberg, the loan will be from UBS AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and will increase the company's cash on hand to about $1 billion. An official announcement could come as early as today.

LightSquared spokeswoman Audrey Schaefer said the company is in discussions with investors all the time but said there is nothing new to report.

Earlier this week LightSquared's Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben said the company signed wholesale deals with two U.S. operators and is in discussions with three more. Boulben also said the company has an agreement with a major retailer that it will name before the end of March.

LightSquared is planning to build a nationwide LTE network that covers 92 percent of the U.S. population. The company 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 last year with satellite operator SkyTerra).

LightSquared's network construction plans are aggressive. The company is conducting LTE trials in Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix, with commercial launches planned by the third quarter of this year. Nokia Siemens Networks is designing and building the network. Nokia (NYSE:NOK), AnyData and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) are working on devices.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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