RESTON, Va., March 11, 2011–LightSquared™, the nation’s first, wholesale-only integrated 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network, and Open Range Communications, a broadband wireless provider of Internet and digital phone service to rural American communities, today announced that they have entered into an agreement in principle to establish a multi-year strategic network partnership.
This partnership represents a major step toward fulfilling the promise of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Plan. As stated in the plan, “Broadband can and must serve as a foundation for long-term economic growth, on-going investment and enduring job creation.” This partnership underscores the goals of this plan by providing benefits to consumers, businesses, healthcare, tribal organizations, public safety and other government users located in or traveling to rural communities and who are seeking access to the latest generation of mobile services.
The partnership is expected to include a licensing arrangement whereby Open Range will lease LightSquared’s L-band spectrum. This wholesale agreement will enable Open Range to sell LightSquared’s next generation satellite capacity. The partnership will also include a 4G nationwide reciprocal roaming arrangement. Under the arrangement, the companies will collaborate on the design, build-out and operation of Open Range’s network as well as on product and service evolution.
The arrangement, which is set out in an Initial Network Agreement, is subject to the execution of definitive agreements, which are expected to be finalized as soon as possible. It is also subject to review by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Utilities Program, and approval of spectrum lease arrangements by the FCC.
“Open Range’s unwavering vision is for ubiquitous High Speed Internet Service at an affordable price across all of rural America. The partnership with LightSquared helps fulfill our vision of delivering the most advanced and interoperable broadband wireless communications services to un-served and underserved rural communities across America. The combination of satellite and Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) services provides the only feasible way to offer meaningful ubiquitous nationwide rural broadband and meet President Obama's goals,” said Open Range Chief Executive Officer and founder Bill Beans.
“This partnership enables LightSquared to provide an enlarged and seamless nationwide 4G-LTE footprint to all of our retail partners and their customers, and is part of LightSquared’s planned commercial service which will result in billions of dollars of investment, offer consumers a new wireless competitor and create tens of thousands of jobs across America,” said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer of LightSquared.
LightSquared’s mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. Through the creation of the first-ever wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network complemented by satellite coverage, LightSquared offers people the speed, value, and reliability of universal broadband connectivity, wherever they are in the United States. Through its wholesale-only business model, those without their own wireless network or who have limited geographic coverage or spectrum can develop and sell their own devices, applications, and services using LightSquared’s open 4G network—at a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared.
For further information about LightSquared, please go towww.LightSquared.com.
About Open Range
Headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado, Open Range Communications is a unique public and private partnership. The company was approved in 2009 for a loan by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Utilities Program (RDUP) to deliver High Speed Wireless Internet to more than 500 communities across 17 states. This Broadband Access Loan of $267 million loan (the largest in USDA history) was made possible through the positive and combined efforts of the USDA’s RUS and FCC. Open Range received additional private equity funding on January 9, 2009 through an investment of $100 million from One Equity Partners (OEP), the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The OEP investment satisfied the RDUP's loan terms, making the funds available to Open Range.
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Audrey Fix Schaefer
Forward Looking Statement:
This release contains forward-looking statements and information regarding LightSquared and its business. Such statements are based on the current expectations and certain assumptions of LightSquared’s management and are, therefore, subject to certain risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements expressed herein relate only to information as of the date of this release. LightSquared has no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release, nor is there any assurance that the plans or strategies discussed in this release will not change.