RESTON, Va. and FT. WORTH, Texas, Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — LightSquared™, a wholesale carrier building a nationwide wireless broadband network that will create consumer choice and drive industry innovation, and Telecom Ventures have announced a wholesale agreement that will enable Telecom Ventures’ two entities, Assist Wireless and New-Talk, to deliver branded mobile broadband services to underserved customers.
Both Assist Wireless and New-Talk are certified as Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) providers by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), allowing them to offer subsidized telephone services, better known as Lifeline, to low-income subscribers.
Assist Wireless, which targets unbanked and underbanked consumers, provides wireless services to tens of thousands of customers in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri and Oklahoma, and plans to expand its footprint to several other states, including California, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas. New-Talk offers local phone services to a growing base of thousands of customers in Texas, which include a range of value-added services, including bilingual customer representatives and the ability to check account balances, pay bills and view invoices online.
With LightSquared, Assist Wireless and New-Talk will now be able to offer reliable, world-class mobile broadband data services at competitive prices to their Lifeline customers.
“Access to advanced mobile broadband services will open up vast opportunities for our customers,” said Byron Young, chief executive officer of Telecom Ventures. “With LightSquared’s unique business model and state-of-the-art technology, we can deliver affordable, reliable access to our growing base of subscribers across the country, and ensure they won’t get caught in the digital divide.”
With Telecom Ventures, LightSquared now has wholesale agreements with 39 wholesale customers. These customers include wireless carriers, device manufacturers, nationwide retailers, regional phone companies, CLECs, mobile content providers and others who plan to use LightSquared’s network to offer competitively-priced wireless service to their customers.
“LightSquared’s mission is to ensure that more than 260 million people have access to wireless broadband services,” said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer of LightSquared. “Telecom Ventures shares our belief in the importance of delivering these services to underserved markets, and in the process, democratizing wireless for all Americans.”
LightSquared’s mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. With the creation of the first-ever, wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage, LightSquared offers people the speed, value and reliability of universal connectivity, wherever they are in the United States. As a wholesale-only operator, LightSquared will deploy an open 4G wireless broadband network to be used by existing and new service providers to sell their own devices, applications and services—at a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared. The deployment and operation of LightSquared’s network represent more than $14 billion of private investment over the next eight years. For more information about LightSquared, please go to www.LightSquared.com, www.facebook.com/LightSquared and www.twitter.com/LightSquared.
About Assist Wireless and New-Talk
Assist Wireless is one of the fastest growing wireless providers in the telecommunications industry, targeting the unbanked/under-banked and credit-challenged consumer demographic. Assist Wireless offers subsidized wireless phones and service for low-income subscribers through a federally mandated low-income assistance program (Lifeline). To obtain subsidized wireless phones and service, subscribers must meet certain eligibility requirements, which typically include participation in a state or federal assistance program or an income level below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Assist Wireless currently operates in Arkansas, Maryland and Oklahoma, with planned expansion in California, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas. For more information, please go to www.assistwireless.com.
New-Talk offers local phone service without credit checks or deposits. All customer service representatives are bilingual, to assist in serving the Hispanic market place. New-Talk is also proud to announce that it is certified by the FCC and federal government to offer subsidized telephone service (better known as Lifeline Service) to anyone who qualifies. New-Talk offers its customers best in class service by providing customers the ability to check their account balance, pay bills, view invoices and much more online 24/7. New-Talk now offers the ability for the customer to use a self service or computerized IVR system via their telephone to pay bills with a credit card, check account balances and access other important information about their account even when New-Talk is closed. For more information, please go to www.newtalkonline.com.
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.