LightSquared raises $265M more despite GPS worries

The startup still needs to prove its network won't interfere with GPS receivers

Mobile broadband startup LightSquared has raised another US$265 million that it can use for building its 4G LTE network, despite the uncertainty of that network being approved by the FCC.

The latest round of investments, announced on Tuesday, came from new and existing investors, LightSquared said. In the past 12 months, the company has raised more than $2.3 billion but faces an estimated cost of $14 billion to complete its planned hybrid satellite-cellular network.

That network's future is in question after a report last week that showed sometimes-devastating interference between LightSquared's LTE (Long-Term Evolution) base stations and GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers. The LTE system would use a radio spectrum band originally designed for satellites. As it filed that report to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, LightSquared also gave the agency its proposal to use different frequencies and lower transmission power for its LTE network.

The FCC has granted LightSquared a waiver that would allow it to operate the powerful LTE radios in satellite spectrum, but only on the condition that it ensures GPS is not impaired. The agency is seeking public comment on those filings until the end of this month and will ask for responses to those until the middle of August. However, LightSquared plans to start building the LTE network even before the FCC has approved operating it.

In a statement, LightSquared Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja called the investments an endorsement of the company's business model. LightSquared plans to only sell access to its network wholesale to other carriers, who would resell services based on it. Electronics retailer Best Buy and Leap Wireless, operator of the Cricket mobile brand, are among the partners signed up to use the network. Sprint Nextel may also partner with LightSquared, according to news reports.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobilebusiness issuestelecommunicationinvestments4gsatelliteLightSquared

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?