Independent, wholesale, LTE protagonist LightSquared continued its contrary ways today, shrugging off the escalating GPS spectrum dispute and other hurdles to raise yet another pile of money. The company said today that it has raised another $265M from both existing and new investors, bringing their 12 month total above $2.3B. The company’s plans for the money are obvious of course, as they will need a whole lot to build out their network.
That construction is still scheduled to get underway soon, but questions about exactly what spectrum they will use remain unresolved. In June all parties agreed that the company’s original buildout plans would interfere with all sorts of GPS devices, with the blame being spread liberally by each side all over the other. LightSquared’s partial solution of starting off with lower power on a different slice of spectrum than originally planned has pleased nobody, and the GPS industry doesn’t seem interested in any solution that doesn’t involve LightSquared committing hari-kari. Which of course they don’t seem prepared to do. But it seems like there’s also no way the FCC is going to just walk away from that much spectrum when it is working so hard to free up as much as possible. Some sort of compromise is inevitable, but it looks right now as if the FCC will have to declare the terms of cease fire rather than hope for successful peace talks.
So will $265M help? Well not at the FCC perhaps, but the simple fact that they are still managing to raise money may give their buildout plan a bit more credibility. I still think though that they, Sprint, and Clearwire will eventually join forces in some form to counter the AT&T/T-Mobile threat.
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