Satphone hopeful LightSquared, today announced the formation of an Emergency Rapid Response Communications Team (ERRT) available to deploy to emergency and disaster locations throughout North America.
It will provide on-call mobile satellite communications services, personnel and equipment for emergency support to federal, state and local first responders and public safety agencies.
LightSquared will provide support to first responder/public safety users by providing a rapid on-site support capability to ensure that emergency service providers have satellite communications in case terrestrial capability is reduced or lost.
In a similar mannter, the company has supported earthquake relief operations in Haiti, provided first responder mobile satellite communications following hurricanes throughout the southeast U.S. and provided command and control communications support for firefighting operations in California.
LightSquared is backed by Harbinger Capital, which now owns all of SkyTerra and some 44 percent of TerreStar; two different satphone platforms.
- TerreStar, a Ka band spot beam satellite is currently operational. Satphone service is augmented with the TerreStar GENUS dual-mode cellular/satellite smartphone that also uses AT&T’s cellular service.
- SkyTerra (now Lightsquared) is their future satphone system using the lower frequency “L Band” in conjunction with LTE terrestrial service using terrestrial satellite repeaters. Nokia Siemens Networks has signed an 8-year agreement worth $7 billion, says SkyTerra, to deploy, install, operate, and maintain LightSquared’s LTE network
This week, LightSquared said it had secured $850 million of funding, sufficient to get the company through to “operational launch and beyond.” LightSquared also signed up Qualcomm to produce its cellular chipset by the end of the year or early in 2011, and equipment manufacturers AnyDATA and BandRich to create USB wireless laptop cards, which are expected to be ready when the network begins its trials next year.