Fla. - Best Buy has entered into an agreement with LightSquared to resell
LightSquared's planned 4G LTE voice and data service under its own Best Buy
Connect brand, LightSquared chairman/CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said during a keynote
speech this morning at the CTIA convention.
Best Buy is targeting
first-quarter 2012 trials, he said.
LightSquared plans to
build a terrestrial wholesale-only LTE voice and data network that will reach
at least 100 million Americans by the end of 2012, 145 million by the end of
2013, and 260 million by the end of 2015, he told convention-goers. "We're
positioned to exceed these milestones," he said.
The company will also
wholesale satellite-based LTE service, which in some cases will be integrated
into phones and devices that also offer terrestrial LTE service.
The announcement is the
second LightSquared deal announced in as many days. Yesterday, Leap Wireless signed a roaming agreement
with LightSquared to supplement Leap's planned 4G LTE network.
For Best Buy, the deal
would bring voice service to the chain's portfolio of Best Buy Connect-branded
Last year, Best Buy
began reselling Sprint's 3G wireless broadband-data service under the Best Buy
Connect brand. And last July, 4G Mobile WiMAX carrier Clearwire announced that
it would sell its 4G Mobile WiMAX data service on a wholesale basis to Best Buy
and that the chain planned in 2011 to resell the service under the Best Buy
Connect brand. Early this month, Clearwire said it expects Best Buy to launch
the WiMAX wireless-broadband service early this year.
Under the current Best
Buy Connect program, the chain acts as an MVNO, billing consumers, providing
customer support, and selling mobile computing devices embedded with wireless
modems at subsidized prices with wireless activation.