Mobile

LightSquared nabs $265M for wholesale LTE 4G

A cool $265 million is being banked today by LightSquared, the first wholesale-only integrated 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network in the United States. Over the last 12 months LightSquared has raised more than $2.3 billion.

Today’s capital comes from both existing investors as well as new investors in the company. LightSquared, based in Reston, VA, says it will use these funds for general corporate purposes.

In June 2011 LightSquared filed a proposal with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to move its network to a lower block of the wireless spectrum after tests showed its network plans interfered with GPS-enabled devices. The company said the new block does not interfere with 99.5 percent of all commercial GPS devices nor any GPS-enabled cell phone. LightSquared expects its wireless service to be available to consumers in the first half of 2012.

“Today wireless communications in the U.S. are dominated by a handful of cellular telephone companies,” the company wrote in today’s press release. “With the creation of LightSquared and its wholesale-only business model, America will finally see greater competition in the wireless marketplace.”

Current LightSquared partners include Best Buy ConnectCellular SouthLeap WirelessSI Wireless and netTALK.

With AT&T’s impending $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile on the horizon, LightSquared’s 4G network will certainly add a bit of variety to the wireless market. In the FCC’s fifteenth report on wireless competition released this June, the agency still hasn’t released a formal finding as to whether there is, or is not, effective competition in the wireless industry.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com.


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