LightSquared (Reston, VA, USA), a wholesale-only wireless broadband and satellite network provider, has closed on $586 million of debt, led by UBS AG and JP Morgan. LightSquared will use the proceeds of the financing for general corporate purposes, which include constructing its 4G-LTE network. Over the last seven months, the financially troubled company has raised more than $2 billion in debt and equity.
LightSquared plans to build a 4G network covering over 90 percent of the United States population. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has already granted the company a waiver to offer terrestrial only service, bypassing the requirement that handsets communicate with both terrestrial cell towers and satellites. This will allow LightSquared's devices to manufactured at less expense.
The company plans to go commercial in the third quarter of 2011 and claims to have already signed two carriers, a national reseller, a device manufacturer, and a website. Nokia Siemens Networks will serve as LightSquared's infrastructure vendor.
The company is rumored to need as much as $1.5 billion for the build out of its LTE network. Spectrum interference may also be a hurdle, though the FCC has been moderately receptive to these issues so far.
Clearwire Corp., friend of Sprint Nextel and LightSquared's closest competitor, is also seeking funding.