Lightsquared: A Man, A Plan, A Phone

Posted by Sam Churchill on

LightSquared says it will partner with Sharp to develop L-band (1.6 GHz) smartphones and tablets for its wholesale LTE network.

LightSquared will showcase devices during the CTIA Enterprise & Applications show, October 11-13, in San Diego.

TerreStar, the bankrupt satellite phone provider since bought by Dish Networks, unveilled a somewhat similar satellite phone, called the Genus, nearly two years ago. It would use AT&T’s cellular network, and hand off to a satellite connection when terrestrial service was not available. Although the phone was presented and demonstrated, it apparently never made it to market. The Satphonestore has TerreStar’s GENUS Satellite/Cellular Smartphone available for $799. Service costs around US$0.65 per minute for voice calls on top of a special $24.99-per-month satellite plan.

LightSquared CEO, Sanjiv Ahuja, published an open letter that ran in major newspapers last month. In the letter, Mr. Ahuja reaffirms LightSquared’s commitment to building a wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage.

The satellite phone company, with a working geosynchronous satellite, is hoping to use that spectrum to build a terrestrial LTE network, hosting their antennas on Sprint’s wireless network. But instead of requiring a satellite connection, the system would be allowed to use terrestrial-only connections, since phones would be cheaper.

Lightsquared claims it has a solution for possible GPS interference — but that some GPS users should pay for it.

LightSquared said that it has already committed to pay $160 million to cover the costs of filters to fix the problem. But the company shouldn’t have to bear those costs alone.

“The GPS industry has to bear responsibility,” general counsel Curtis Lu told reporters on a conference call. According to Lu, Trimble Navigation and other high-precision GPS users and manufacturers, have known about the potential problem since 2003 and should have acted earlier to prevent them.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told the FCC last Thursday that the public should not pay to retrofit GPS receivers if the FCC approves the proposed LightSquared wireless broadband network. Air Force Space Command Gen. William Shelton has said it would cost the U.S. military in the “B’s — billions of dollars” to accommodate LightSquared’s proposed technical fixes.

Sanjiv Ahuja said during an interview on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators” that the company is offering federal agencies “a sufficient amount of money to replace most receivers or fix most receivers out there.”

Related Satellite phone stories on Dailywireless include; Lightsquared: A Hardware Solution, More Testing for Lightsquared, Lightsquared: Another Plan, Lightsquared & Sprint Announce Sharing Agreement, Lightsquared Files Official FCC Report , Lightsquared: Plan “B”, Lightsquared: Lawmakers Skeptical, Lightsquared + Sprint Deal Done?, Lightsquared Gets 2-week Extension, Ergen Likely Got TerreStar, Charlie Ergen’s Spectacular Triple Play, Lightsquared Interference: No Immediate Fix?, LightSquared: GPS Interference Found, Lightsquared: Plan B from Outer Space?, Harbinger: 59MHz or What?. Time Warner Cable + Lightstream?, Lightsquared Signs Cricket Wireless, Another Rumor: Lightsquared + Sprint?, Lightsquared + Sprint?, Charlie’s Big Play, LTE Spectrum: It’s War, Lightsquared: What GPS Interference?, Harbinger Sells Inmarsat Shares, FCC Green Lights Lightsquared, LightSquared: In Trouble?, Lightsquared Unfurled

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, October 3rd, 2011 at 10:53 am .

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