Lightsquared Launches Satellite for New LTE Hybrid Network

In: Cellphone|Communication|Computer|Hardware|Networks|Unusual|Wireless

17 Nov 2010

Lightsquared Launches Satellite for New LTE Hybrid Network - Among the most powerful commercial satellites ever built

As we mentioned in March, Harbinger Capital Partners is building a new nationwide LTE network dubbed “Lightsquared” using spectrum owned a satellite subsidiary by the name of SkyTerra. Leaked launch information indicates that the company should have 20 markets live by 2012. While they may not have built any cell cites yet the company this week announced that they’ve launched their SkyTerra 1 satellite, which will provide the satellite half of their network build equation.

According to the company, the new bird is one of the largest ever built:

The satellite, a Boeing 702HP built by Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems, is designed to provide wireless mobile services to millions of subscribers. LightSquared’s SkyTerra 1 satellite features a 22-meter L-band reflector-based antenna the largest commercial antenna reflector to be put into service. The satellite, among the most powerful commercial satellites ever built, will provide ubiquitous nationwide coverage and enable integrated satellite-terrestrial service using products that are similar to today s typical mobile devices in terms of size, capabilities and build costs.

Lightsquared plans to sell wholesale access to their LTE network, which will use this new satellite for rural coverage and emergency communication services. The LTE portion of the network will cost about $7 billion and will be built by Nokia. On the more terrestrial news front, it was revealed this week that Harbinger is being investigated by the SEC for a $113 million loan taken out by Harbinger founder Philip Falcone to pay personal taxes and potential “preferential treatment” of certain investors.

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