LightSquared CEO Offers No Insight on Possible GPS Interference #ctiaw2011

Nothing was mentioned today by Sanjay Ahuja, CEO, about LightSquared's technology that might possibly interfere with the GPS signals that we have reported on previously. LightSquared owns 59Mhz of telecommunications spectrum in the U.S. and plans to use both satellite and terrestial means to deploy is their LTE-4G network. Concerns exist among the U.S. military, GPS equipment manufacturers and others that LightSquared's hybrid approach has the potential to interfere with GPS signal integrity. In speaking with executives from Spirent, a company that tests for such interference, this is exactly to kind of verification in which they are being asked to perform (see prior interview).

Ahuja spent the majority of his remarks addressing the LightSquared business model, its wholesale distribution of a 4G broadband network, and its investment in building out its new wireless broadband system. "LightSquared is completely revolutionizing this model with an integrated approach that will open the market to many more entrants," said Ahuja. "Just imagine the enormous opportunity to create a business model to democratize wireless service for all Americans. LightSquared is poised to do just that." This is a radical change for LightSquared whose business model was originally based on a new satellite-based constellation but is now focused on a terrestial deployment of broadband.

LightSquared announced a partnership with Best Buy, the mega-retailer, to offer a service called Best Buy Connect through its stores with pilot trials coming in Q1 2012.

The LightSquared business model is providing broadband on a wholesale basis. "We will have no retail overhead; we will  spend [our money] on building and deploying the most reliable 4G network... we will sell to network providers under their own brand," said Ahuja. "Wholesale means that we will never compete with our network partners; [our] success is solely based on the success of our network partners. LightSquared partners can expand their product offerings and expand relationship with customers."

Ahuja believes that LightSquared is completely revolutionizing the existing model for broadband access with an integrated approach that will open the market to many more entrants.

Ahuja said, that "demand for data continues to surge and digital overload continues to grow. We are worried about staying connected. [LightSquared] is taking a transformational approach to help the wireless industry to address the overload and fix connectivity." Ahuja stated that during peak internet usage on a daily basis, 20% is from streaming video.

LightSquared plans to spend $14 billion of private investment over the next 5 years on network infrastructure.

Published Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Written by Joe Francica

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