LightSquared + SK Telecom

SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest cellular operator, is in talks with Harbinger Capital about a US$100 million investment in LightSquared, reports Reuters. LightSquared uses a huge spot beam satellite for connection when out of terrestrial range, but needs a cellular partner to provide terrestrial towers.

Of course $100 million amounts to a rounding error, when it comes to building an nationwide LTE network in the United States. Perhaps more significantly, LightSquared obtained a $750 million four-year loan from UBS AG, reports Bloomberg. CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said last month he was in advanced talks with 10 potential customers or partners.

In addition to the $2.9 billion of assets already contributed by Harbinger Capital Partners and affiliates, LightSquared hopes to raise additional debt and equity financing up to $1.75 billion and raise a second round of financing in the next two years.

Philip Falcone, founder and chief executive officer of Harbinger Capital Partners, made several investments through the Harbinger funds, including the acquisition of SkyTerra Communications, now part of LightSquared.

Falcone has partnered with Sanjiv Ahuja, who will lead the LightSquared team as chairman and chief executive officer. Ahuja was chief executive officer of the global telecom giant Orange Group from 2004 through 2007, during which Orange’s customer base grew from 48 million to more than 100 million subscribers globally.

SK Telecom is planning to launch LTE in South Korea next year, with the intention of offering nationwide coverage by 2013. SK Telecom, along with Korea Telecom (KT), South Korea’s dominant wire-based carrier, have been WiMAX pioneers.

SK’s previous efforts in the United States included a failed MVNO effort called Helio, which was eventually sold to Virgin Mobile USA. SKT also made a US$100 million investment in Malaysian WiMAX operator Packet One Networks. In August 2008, P1 became the first company to launch commercial WiMAX services in Malaysia.

Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver equipment to LightSquared this year so it can test network services in Baltimore, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver in the first half of 2011. Approximately 40,000 cellular base stations are planned, covering 92 percent of the U.S. population by 2015.

LightSquared says it will cover at least 100 million Americans by December 31, 2012; 145 million by the end of 2013; and 288 million by the end of 2015.

While $100 million isn’t much, it could indicate that T-Mobile is going with Clearwire for 4G LTE. Clearwire uses a more traditional “4G” frequency band at 2.6 GHz, while LightSquared would use 10 MHz of its 20 MHz TerreStar satellite platform, as well as other assets, for spectrum.

Satellite phones with terrestrial networks seem to be sprouting up all over:

SkyTerra coverage includes the continental United States, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Several years ago FCC regulations were changed to allow satphone companies to deliver service over terrestrial towers – re-using their frequencies. This change was made because satellite phone providers were going bankrupt. Satphone service was unpopular, among other reasons, because the signal couldn’t penetrate indoors or in vehicles and devices couldn’t fit in pockets. Terrestrial reuse, it was thought, would make satphone providers solvent. Against the objections of cellular carriers, the new rules were passed by the FCC.

It meant that a nationwide terrestrial network could be created without buying spectrum.

The FCC’s Notice of Rulemaking earlier this year involved 90 MHz of spectrum in three different satellite phone bands. It would be capable of supporting terrestrial broadband service.

The TerreStar satellite and ICO (at 2 GHz) and SkyTerra (at 1.6 GHZ) all have 20 MHz available for satphone services. Terrestrial service via Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) towers could take about half that spectrum for terrestrial LTE services.

New York-based Harbinger now owns all of SkyTerra and some 44 percent of TerreStar, as well as 29 percent of London-based Inmarsat, the veteran mobile satellite services provider.

TerreStar-1, using the 2 GHz MSS band, was launched on July 1, 2009. It was constructed by Space Systems/Loral and is the world’s largest and most powerful commercial satellite ever launched, with an antenna almost 60 feet across, and supporting 500 dynamically-configurable spot beams. (Form 8K)

A new 1.6 GHz satellite platform, SkyTerra-1 was scheduled for launch this November with SkyTerra-2 to be launched next year. SkyTerra1 and SkyTerra2 are built by Boeing, using ILS launch services. But Boeing discovered a technical glitch in SkyTerra-1 satellite, postponing the launch by ILS from Kazakhstan to December or early 2011. SkyTerra will implement LightSquared’s Cooperative Agreement with Inmarsat (which also uses the 1.5/1.6 GHz (“L Band”), that will be integrated with SkyTerra’s 1.6 GHz satellite network.

TerreStar’s $799 Windows Mobile-based Genus phone was announced for AT&T, offering a combination of GSM/HSPA and satellite access when far from a cell tower.

The phone costs $799 without a two-year contract, and requires regular AT&T voice and data service plans. It uses the AT&T network where it’s available. The option to be able to switch over to the satellite costs $25 extra per month, and then 65 cents per minute of calling.

Related DailyWireless Space and Satellite News includes; FCC Okays Terrestrial LTE for SkyTerra , TerreStar Successfully Launched, AT&T/TerreStar: Dual-mode Satphone, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, TerreStar Phones Home, Motorola + SkyTerra Team for 700 MHz/Sat Radios, TerreStar’s 60 Ft Antenna Deployed in Space, TerreStar Successfully Launched , Satphones Maneuver, WildBlue: $30M, Shovel-ready, Alvarion, Open Range To Build 17 State Net, WiChorus Ropes Open Range, Satellites Collide, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, Godzilla SatPhones WiMAXed , WiMAX and/or Satellite,

Riot in D Block

Despite $7 billion in federal grants and other spending over the last seven years to improve the ability of public safety departments to talk to one another, most experts say that it will be years, if ever, before a single nationwide public safety radio system becomes a reality, reports the NY Times.

“For a brief moment in time, a solution is readily within reach,” says James A. Barnett (right), chief of the FCC’s public safety and homeland security bureau. He told a Congressional hearing this summer. “Unless we embark on a comprehensive plan now, including public funding, America will not be able to afford a nationwide, interoperable public safety network.”

Public safety groups, with the backing of some members of Congress, are arguing that they need to be given control of a larger chunk of broadband spectrum to ensure that they have adequate network capacity during emergencies.

Ericsson and Motorola are teaming up to deliver LTE for the public safety sector, reports Fierce Wireless. The alliance brings together the world’s largest mobile network equipment vendor (Ericsson) with Motorola’s public safety communications business unit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a statement, Ulf Ewaldsson, VP and head of radio networks at Ericsson, claimed: “LTE enables a number of new applications and video communication from the site of accident to the communication central. Improved situation awareness empowers efficient decisions, secure assets and property and may, in the end, save lives.”

Motorola last month received a $50 million award from the government to build a public safety LTE network in San Francisco in the 700 MHz band (above).

But officials from the city of San Jose and the county of Santa Clara asked that the federal government “suspend or postpone” the $50 million grant for public-safety broadband until questions about the procurement process are resolved.

“The process utilized to select the vendor for this process does not reflect our standard for accepted procurement practices,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey Smith stated in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.

The Public Safety LTE system is expected to be installed this year and is expected to be operational in early 2011.

The Public-safety gold rush is spawning strange bedfellows, notes Fierce Wireless. Motorola, which is selling its cellular business to Nokia Siemens Networks for $1.2 billion, is ironically passing on its own (or NSN’s) infrastructure and partnering with Ericsson for LTE infrastructure, once their fierce rival. Meanwhile, Harris, which introduced their BeOn push-to-talk LTE solution, is working with Nokia Siemens.

In a related matter, the FCC moved the 2011 deadline that required narrowband radios operating below 512 MHz be replaced. Now it’s 2013. For many small public-safety entities — like volunteer fire departments — with an annual budget in the hundreds of dollars, the idea of spending $3,500 on new radios to replace systems that work fine has been unpalatable. Motorola, Harris and EF Johnson like the plan.

Alcatel-Lucent is promoting its 700 MHz Public Safety solution and recently made a data call on it. Alca-Lu is using the 10 MHz of broadband frequencies licensed to the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) which it will use in combination with the 10 MHz of adjacent frequencies known as the D Block in the U.S. These frequencies combined form Band 14.

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials likes Senator Jay Rockefeller’s bill, which would allow first responders to resell D Block spectrum and receive additional funding by selling off tv spectrum.

The FCC’s plan would require the D Block licensee to provide a network that covers 75% of the U.S. population by the end of the fourth year, 95% of the U.S. population by the end of the seventh year, and 99.3% of the U.S. population by the end of the tenth year. The FCC wants that 10 MHz chunk shared by public service and commercial users. Taxpayers don’t need to fund the construction of a dedicated, multi-billion dollar public safety network if commercial providers build it, say promoters of the FCC plan.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T, both with 700 MHz spectrum from 2008 auctions, want to see the D Block go to public safety. So does Motorola, which dominates the market for first responder communications equipment and handsets. T-Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel Corp., eager for more spectrum, support the FCC proposal.

The FCC’s plan — supported by the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission — “will ensure the build-out of a network that is cutting edge, reliable, and cost-effective,” FCC spokesman Rob Kenny said. It would auction off the 10 MHz “D Block”, but allow public service agencies to use the commercial frequencies. The FCC says it lowers cost and increases broadband penetration for everyone.

Public safety users currently use 800 MHz for most voice traffic, and recently were given an additional 10 MHz previously used by Nextel. In the 700 MHz Public Safety Band, they received (free) the equivalent of four television channels (roughly Ch 63 & 64 and Ch 68 &69) in the 700 MHz band. Half those frequencies will be used for narrowband voice, the other half for broadband (LTE).

Now Public Safety has their eyes on a potential cash cow – the “D-Block”.

In the $10 billion 2008 spectrum auction, the 10 MHz “D Block” (758–763 and 788–793 MHz), didn’t get the minimum bid of $1.3 billion (pdf). While public safety agencies can’t resell their Nextel spectrum, the “D-Block” might be a horse of a different color. But first they’ve got to grab it.

Buying 10,000 Clearwire hotspots with dual-mode WiMAX/LTE backhaul, some might argue, might be cheaper, faster and better by at least an order of magnitude. WiFi-enabled, dual-mode satphones aren’t rocket science. They work in emergencies.

After Hurricane Katrina, terrestrial public service radios didn’t work. Towers were down and generators ran out of juice. Only satellite phones were effective. It took months to get police radios back.

You’d think public service agencies and satellite provider LightSquared (formerly TerreStar) might get together. Skeptics (like me) think it’s more about cash and empire building then delivering service.

Public service lobbyists like Motorola want taxpayers to build a dedicated, stand alone, nationwide wireless network and buy all their radios. They make a compelling argument. Why these same agencies don’t currently use their 10 Mhz of Nextel frequencies (on 800mhz) or their 12 Mhz for broadband (on 700 MHz) is less clear.

Critics like the FCC, say cellular operators have already built a nationwide broadband network. First responders will get priority access to all of it. If public service agencies try to build their own LTE cellular network, they won’t get the coverage they need – or the funding. Instead, a joint public/private system – utilizing the “D Block” – would benefit everyone with better coverage, improved service, and lower costs.

Related Dailywireless articles include; The 700MHz Network: Who Pays?, Public Safety Spectrum Grab, Public Safety: Show Us The Money, SF Announces LTE First Responder Net, Clearwire to Test LTE, Apps for the City, LightSquared: 5K Basestations by 2011, Phoney Spectrum Scarcity, D-Block: It’s Done; Congress Pays, The 700MHz Network: Who Pays?, Big Bucks for 700 MHz Public Safety, FCC: Stop Complaining about Interoperability, Police & Fire: No Broadband for You, Commentary: Future of Public Safety Communications, New York Cancels Statewide Wireless Network, New York’s $2B Statewide Network Close to Canceling, M/A-COM to NY: We’re Good, NY Gives Tyco 45 days to Fix Network, Battle for Oregon’s State-wide Radio Net, Twitter 911, FCC Okays 21 Public Service Nets, FCC: Stop Complaining about Interoperability, Police & Fire: No Broadband for You, The 700MHz Network: Who Pays?, The National Broadband Plan, National Broadband Plan Previewed, D-Block: It’s Done; Congress Pays, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, TerreStar Phones Home, Motorola + SkyTerra Team for 700 MHz/Sat Radios, Alvarion, Open Range To Build 17 State Net, San Diego State: Wildfire GIS to Go, Emergency Mapping, Cascadia Peril, Commentary: Future of Public Safety Communications, New York Cancels Statewide Wireless Network, New York’s $2B Statewide Network Close to Canceling, M/A-COM to NY: We’re Good, NY Gives Tyco 45 days to Fix Network, Battle for Oregon’s State-wide Radio Net, Oregon’s $500 Million Statewide Wireless Network.

Burning Man: Ten Years of Communications Innovation

The OpenBTS-based cellular network at Burning Man has the power to change the world, says Network World. The super low-cost, solar or wind powered base station, provide free cellular service to anyone with an ordinary GSM cell phone.

This is the third year that the low-cost, open source cellular network has offered free cell phone service to the 50,000-ish attendees at Burning Man, which began August 30, in Black Rock City, Nevada. Here are Burning Man 2010 blogs, art installations, Playa Forums and a list of radio stations. Commnet Wireless, a commercial cellular carrier is also providing cellular service at Burning Man this year. Burning Man supplies the backhaul for the Open BTS system.

“We make GSM look like a wireless access point”, says one of the project’s three founders, Glenn Edens.

It costs pennies on the dollar and it’s completely legal, explains their FAQ (Slide Share Presentation).

The technology starts with open source software, OpenBTS. It is built on Linux and distributed via the AGPLv3 license. When used with a software-defined radio like GNU Radio, which provides the signal processing runtime and processing blocks to implement software radios, it works with any standard GSM cell phone.

It uses open source Asterisk VoIP software as the PBX to connect calls, explains founder David Burgess. Two of OpenBTS’s three founders are a duo of wireless design gurus that make up Kestrel Signal Processing: David Burgess and Harvind Samra. The third is industry luminary Glenn Edens, the same Edens who founded Grid Systems, maker of the first laptop in the early ‘80s.

GSM operates on licensed bandwidth, so for any U.S. installation, the OpenBTS crew always obtains a FCC license and works with the local carrier to coordinate frequency use.

When attendees get into range and power up their phones, the system sends them a text that says “Reply to this message with your phone number and you can send and receive text messages and make voice calls.”

“You can also make phone calls to any number, but you can’t receive them, except from other people at Burning Man. Calls from people out of range from Burning Man will go to voicemail … but you can check your voicemail.”

The system is only “as big as a shoebox,” Edens says, and requires a mere 50 watts of power “instead of a couple of thousand” so it is easily supported by solar or wind power, or batteries. It performs as well as any other GSM base station which has a maximum range of 35 kilometers and a typical range of 20 kilometers.

Like other GSM cell networks, OpenBTS networks can connect to the public switched network and the Internet. Because it converts to VoIP, it “makes every cell phone look like a SIP end point … and every cell phone looks like an IP device. But we don’t touch anything in the phone … any GSM phone will work, from a $15 refurbished cell phone all the way up to iPhones and Androids.”

“After the Haiti earthquake, we sent a system that was installed at the main hospital in Port Au Prince. They had it working an hour after unpacking it from the box. The hospital PBX was down. They used it as their phone system for about two weeks”, Glenn Edens told Network World.

Kestrel Signal Processing has sold about 150 units, hardware and software, since last January, with trial systems installed in India, Africa, the South Pacific and a number of other countries. The team has also done a few private installations like oil fields, farms, and ships at sea.

Because OpenBTS relies on licensed bandwidth, the team hasn’t been targeting enterprises wanting private campus-wide cell phone networks, though that’s not out of the question, says Network World. Still, Edens says there’s plenty of work to be done for the 60% of the world’s landmass and the 40% of the world’s population that don’t have service, he says. Carriers such as Telefonica to T-Mobile have expressed interest.

It was ten years ago at Burning Man that Matt Peterson (Twitter) and friends built one of the world’s first large scale community LAN networks. They used Cisco Aironet and Lucent ORiNOCO gear. Matt Peterson’s PlayaNet which provided wireless connectivity to Burning Man in 2000, demonstrated that Wi-Fi had untapped potential. Here Matt Peterson’s Burning Man photos in 2000 and 2010. A Wired article explains the BM 2000 network.

Matt Peterson and his friends, including Tim Pozar and others, took their Wi-Fi field experience back to San Francisco and started the Bay Area Wireless Users Group. BAWUG’s PlayaNET Archives, beginning in April of 2000, contain the genesis of grass-roots community networks.

Burners Without Borders was a spinoff from the Burning Man innovations. They used mobile access points in New Orleans.

AEHF Satellite – Billion Dollar Brick?

A rescue plan is being implemented to salvage the U.S. military’s gold-plated AEHF communications satellite after a serious malfunction knocked out its main engine and stymied the craft’s maneuvering ability, reports SpaceFlightNow.

The billion dollar Advanced Extremely High Frequency 1 spacecraft was launched into a preliminary orbit by an Atlas 5 rocket on August 14 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

AEHF 1 was expected to reach its on-orbit testing location at 90 degrees West longitude over the equator within 105 days of liftoff.

But those plans were thwarted a day after launch during the initial orbit raising burn when the satellite’s main engine shut down shortly after ignition for still-unexplained reasons. Another attempt tried August 17 also ended immediately when the engine again failed to generate the expected acceleration.

Built by Lockheed, it’s the successor to the currently-operational Milstar system.

AEHF will consists of three geostationary satellites plus a possible on-orbit spare. When the constellation is finished, the satellites will be also able to communicate with one another directly as well as provide spot beams on Earth.

There are three AEHF communication services: a new one providing data rates up to 8.192 Mbit/s per user, and the previous Milstar Low Data Rate (LDR) services (75 – 2400 bits per second) and Milstar Medium Data Rate (MDR) services (4.8 kbit/s – 1.544 Mbit/s).

Military satellites seem prone to years of delays and multibillion-dollar cost overruns. TSAT, the Transformational Satellite communications system, cost U.S. taxpayers $2.5 billion before Secretary Gates pulled its plug.

AEHF was expected to cost $5.6 billion in 2001 when the program was getting under way, but today the price tag is more than $10 billion for fewer satellites, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

There is also the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), a group of four infrared satellites designed to warn of missile launches and perform other reconnaissance operations. This 1996 program has ballooned from about $ 2 billion to more than $13.6 billion today. A Lockheed Martin-Northrop Grumman effort, SBIRS is eight years late. Two satellites have been launched so far, but hardware defects have since been discovered on the first one, the GAO said.

LightSquared: 5K Basestations by 2011

LightSquared plans to launch its wholesale LTE network in as many as nine U.S. markets in 2011, reports Fierce Wireless, and could expand that list to 20 markets in 2012, according to company documents unearthed by Bloomberg.

The documents show the company will offer 4G service largely in the middle of the country first and then expand to the coasts, says Bloomberg.

LightSquared is a satellite phone company that plans to reuse its 2 GHz (MSS) frequencies terrestrially, on cell towers. It plans to launch in Chicago, Dallas and Minneapolis in 2011, and could expand to Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in 2012, according to the documents.

The company expects to add 300 base stations this year, 5,000 by the end of 2011, and around 13,000 base stations in 11 more metropolitan areas in 2012. The company has inked a $7 billion deal with Nokia Siemens Networks, which is designing and building the network.

LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja confirmed to Bloomberg that the documents are authentic, but said some details have been changed. However, Ahuja said LightSquared is on track to begin constructing its network in December.

LightSquared hopes to compete with Clearwire and Verizon for 4G services in the United States. Clearwire now offers 4G service to roughly 56 million people, and plans to serve over 100 million by year’s end. By the end of 2010, Clearwire will expand to Boston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Verizon’s is expected to turn on their initial LTE service sometime this November. “Verizon’s LTE service will be in 25 to 30 markets covering roughly 100 million people by year’s end,” said Tony Melone, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Verizon Wireless.

The three companies approach 4G differently. Clearwire has more 4G spectrum than all the U.S. cellular operators combined – some 120 MHz in big cities. Clearwire’s 2.6 GHz band doesn’t travel as well as the 700 MHz band that Verizon is using. Verizon will use fewer cell towers to cover more people on less spectrum. Verizon’s LTE service is therefore likely to be more ubiquitous, but slower and more expensive than Clearwire’s WiMAX service.

Geosynch satphone providers include:

  • TerreStar’s satphone service: Now operational. It features dual-band operation, working with AT&T’s cellular network for ubiquitous service throughout North America. Uses 20 MHz in the MSS Band: (1.7/2.1 GHZ). Now operational with a single satellite, but service has not begun commercially. Dual-band phones can use AT&T’s cellular service and the MSS band using ATC. The 18 meter Harris antenna focuses 2 GHz spotbeams on the United States and Canada in order to provide enough signal strength.
  • Skyterra satphone service: Same deal but operates in the lower “L Band” (1.5/1.6 GHz). May be available later this year, after their satellite launches. SkyTerra1 and SkyTerra2, based on the Boeing 702 design, are scheduled for launch during 2010. It will combine both terrestrial 700 MHz Public Safety networks and satellites.
  • Inmarsat: Uses mobile terminals for Internet access but does not (generally) provide voice service from handheld phones. Operates in the “L Band” (1.5/1.6 GHz).
  • Thuraya: Covers the middle East and adjoining areas. A 12 x 16 meter reflector, 128 element L-band antenna supports up to 200 separate spot beams.
  • ICO: Provides MSS coverage over the United States with a huge spotbeam antenna. The planned mobile multimedia service has not yet been offered even though the satellite has been operational for nearly two years.

FCC rulemaking permits Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) licensees in the 2 GHz (1990-2025 MHz and 2165-2200 MHz) bands (where ICO and Terrastar operate), the L-band (1525-1544 MHz/1545-1559 MHz) and 1626.5-1645.5 MHz/1646.5-1660.5 MHz) bands (where Inmarsat and Skyterra operate), and the “Big LEO” (1610-1626.5 MHz and 2483.5-2500 MHz) bands (where Globalstar and Iridium operate).

Harbinger Capital Partners has dropped Clearwire from its stock portfolio and cut its stock holdings in Sprint Nextel, according to a regulatory filing.

LightSquared (which now owns Skyterra and most of TerraStar), has one big problem. They need a partner with cell towers who wants to play – someone like T-Mobile.

Perhaps an Asian or European cellular company would work – or a Russian oil company. Small, independent ISPs, delivering broadband wireless to rural communities might be part of the mix, as well as the remaining independent cellular operators like MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless.

Digital Bridge, Open Range and Utopian Wireless have all won broadband infrastructure grants in recent years, notes Forbes.

LightSquared has already struck a deal to lease some of its 1.4 GHz spectrum to Airspan Networks for use with utility applications.

Juniper Research is forecasting 300 million global LTE subscribers by 2015, compared with 500,000 expected by the the end of this year. ABI figures 4G subscribers will total 150 million by 4Q-2014, with some 1 billion people covered by mobile WiMAX globally in 2012.

Related DailyWireless Space and Satellite News includes; LightSquared: Phase 1, LightSquared Announces LTE Network, FCC Okays Terrestrial LTE for SkyTerra, TerreStar Successfully Launched, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, TerreStar Phones Home, Motorola + SkyTerra Team for 700 MHz/Sat Radios, TerreStar’s 60 Ft Antenna Deployed in Space, TerreStar Successfully Launched , Satphones Maneuver, WildBlue: $30M, Shovel-ready, Alvarion, Open Range To Build 17 State Net, WiChorus Ropes Open Range, Satellites Collide, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, Godzilla SatPhones WiMAXed , WiMAX and/or Satellite, Clear Puck: Hat Trick?.

LightSquared: Phase 1

LightSquared today announced it has triggered Phase 1 of a Cooperation Agreement between Inmarsat and LightSquared.

Inmarsat and SkyTerra (now LightSquared), designed a phased plan aimed at addressing growing wireless broadband demand. The agreement increases the amount of contiguous spectrum available to both parties and provides LightSquared enhanced operational flexibility for deployment of its 4G-LTE integrated terrestrial and satellite network.

To implement Phase 1, Inmarsat will immediately begin a process of transition to a modified spectrum plan to increase spectrum contiguity. This process is expected to take 18 months and will require Inmarsat to incur the cost of certain network modifications. During implementation of Phase 1, LightSquared will make a series of payments to Inmarsat totalling $337.5 million (USD):

Additionally, LightSquared has an option to implement Phase 2 which will add further capacity to its network. Phase 2 may be exercised at any time through January 1, 2013 and provides that Inmarsat would make additional spectrum available at an annual cost of $115 million (USD) per year. The Phase 2 process is expected to take 30 months following the exercise by LightSquared of the Phase 2 option.

LightSquared is majority owned by Harbinger Capital. Its wholesale LTE network will allow for terrestrial-only, satellite-only or integrated satellite-terrestrial services using the MSS spectrum Harbinger scored through a merger in March with satellite operator SkyTerra.

Harbinger Capital Partners has dropped Clearwire from its stock portfolio and cut its stock holdings in Sprint Nextel, according to a regulatory filing.

Related DailyWireless Space and Satellite News includes; LightSquared Announces LTE Network, FCC Okays Terrestrial LTE for SkyTerra, TerreStar Successfully Launched, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, TerreStar Phones Home, Motorola + SkyTerra Team for 700 MHz/Sat Radios, TerreStar’s 60 Ft Antenna Deployed in Space, TerreStar Successfully Launched , Satphones Maneuver, WildBlue: $30M, Shovel-ready, Alvarion, Open Range To Build 17 State Net, WiChorus Ropes Open Range, Satellites Collide, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, Godzilla SatPhones WiMAXed , WiMAX and/or Satellite,