LightSquared, the company responsible for the first wholesale hybrid Satellite/Cellular network that many expect will power the 4G services of at least one of the four major wireless carriers in the U.S., announced Wednesday the beginning of the wireless spectrum shift that will ultimately make its network possible.
In a December 2007 agreement, SkyTerra (now LightSquared) and mobile satellite service provider Inmarsat arranged a system that would allow the L-band spectrum to be re-banded for use in both MSS (satellite) and ATC (terrestrial) services.
On Wednesday, LightSquared delivered notice to Inmarsat to begin the first phase of this agreement.
The first phase will be an 18-month transition period for Inmarsat where it switches to a modified spectrum plan, and LightSquared begins making its annual payments for the L-band spectrum the new plan frees up. During this phase, LightSquared is expected to pay 7.5 million to Inmarsat.
“Implementation of this agreement represents a significant milestone in LightSquared’s plan to build the nation’s first wholesale only 4G-LTE wireless broadband network,” said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer of LightSquared. “Triggering this agreement will now give us the contiguous spectrum we need to support additional network capacity to meet the growing demand for wireless data.”