Feeds

LightSquared inks deal with Best Buy

Leap and Open Range too: just like a real customer list

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Audacious wannabe network wholesaler LightSquared has inked a deal with Best Buy to provide connectivity for the retailer's MVNO offering, with testing to start early next year.

Best Buy joins Leap Wireless and Open Range in signing up to use LightSquared's yet-to-be-built LTE network. That network relies on radio spectrum previously reserved for satellite use, making it cheap, but the addition of the big brand retailer will be important, as LightSquared is still struggling to raise the $7bn it needs to build the network.

LightSquared has an obligation to provide service to 100 million US citizens by the end of next year, but is facing difficulties proving that its L-Band operations won't interfere with GPS systems. Fears of GPS failure have forced LightSquared to set up a working party with GPS kit manufacturers to address the issue, much to the delight of competing networks who paid full price for their spectrum.

The deals with Open Range and Leap Wireless work both ways, so a Leap customer roaming to LightSquared's network could also roam into Open Range, which will help LightSquared achieve that 100-million coverage. It has been suggested that a deal with MetroPCS would go a long way to achieving that coverage, and some expected a deal to be announced at the CTIA keynote today, but LightSquared's CEO Sanjiv Ahuja instead revealed the Best Buy deal.

That won't help achieve coverage – Best Buy is strictly a virtual operator – but it will give confidence to investors, who have been concerned that LightSquared lacked big name customers, not to mention that their money was supposed to be in a hedge fund rather than invested satellite communications.

LightSquared's business model is based on reselling its network capacity, and the company recently got the FCC to agree that end users won't have to have satellite-capable handsets, despite the spectrum they use having been allocated for satellite use.

Without that agreement it is very unlikely that Best Buy, or the others, would be interested in a deal. Even now those deals are subject to LightSquared achieving various milestones. The upstart operator still has a lot to prove, but at least it now has someone to prove it to. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.