4G wireless broadband wholesaler-to-be LightSquared
says it has closed on its latest round of financing, to the tune of $586
The company, which has raised over $2 billion in debt and
equity, says it will use the money to build out its network, which is right in
the wheelhouse of a big push from the Obama administration. LightSquared
will combine satellite and terrestrial delivery to provide wholesale LTE
broadband access to cable operators, device manufacturers, retailers and
The President has been stumping over the past several weeks
for his National Wireless Plan--announced in the State of the Union speech,
which calls for rolling out 4G wireless service to 98% of the population
within five years. That works for LightSquared, which is targeting 2015 for its
nationwide 4G service that will reach more than 90% of the country, says
Private equity firm Harbinger Capital Management, which is
headed by Philip Falcone, owns LightSquared.
LightSquared last week said it had completed
post-launch testing of the SkyTerra 1 satellite that launched Nov. 14,
2011. The satellite will relay high-data-rate signals to Light Squared head
ends in the U.S. and Canada.
The FCC last month granted LightSquared's request for a
waiver of FCC rules to provide the combination satellite/terrestrial service. The FCC conditioned the waiver, which allows the dual service to offer
terrestrial-only devices as well, on working with the FCC, NTIA and other
agencies to resolve a number of issues, including potential interference with
"In approving this transfer of control, we observed
that if LightSquared successfully deploys its integrated
satellite/terrestrial 4G network, it will be able to provide mobile
broadband communications in areas where it is difficult or impossible to
provide coverage by terrestrial base stations such as in remote or rural
areas," the FCC said in approving the conditional waiver.
That would further the FCC's National Broadband Plan public
interest goals, a point the FCC made in granting the approval and
that LightSquared points out on its Web site.