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Lightsquared Signs Up U.S. Retailers, Carriers

2/17/2011 01:22:51 PM Eastern
Reston, Va. - Lightsquared, which plans to wholesale a wireless 4G voice and data service, has signed contracts with several companies that will sell the service under their own brands.

One contract is with a national retailer. The others are with a website and two carriers, the company said without disclosing their names. A contract with a device manufacturer has also been signed. Neither names nor terms were disclosed.

The company, backed by hedge fund company Harbinger Capital Partners, outlined a timetable last year to build a 4G-LTE satellite and terrestrial voice and data network whose service it would wholesale to retailers, cable operators, and other companies that want to offer the service under their own brands.

Companies reselling LightSquared service could offer a terrestrial-only service or an integrated terrestrial/satellite service in which VoIP calls and data sessions could be handed off between the terrestrial network and satellite. Satellite-only service would be available in Canada and Mexico.

The company, which signed contracts last year for base-station equipment, will build its network in four markets this year -- Baltimore, Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas -- as part of a national rollout that will expand service to at least 100 million people by the end of 2012, a spokesman said. By the end of 2013, the company will expand service to 145 million people, and by the end of 2015, service will be available to 92 percent of the U.S. population by the end of 2015, based on an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission.
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