LightSquared’s LTE project: challenges and opportunities

Date: September 23, 2010
Pages: 12
US$ 895.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: L41D49AB025EN

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LightSquared’s LTE project: challenges and opportunities
On 20 July 2010, LightSquared announced a $7 billion contract with NSN to build, operate, maintain, and manage an LTE network that will cover 92% of the US population by 2015. LightSquared will use the LTE network, complemented by satellite transmission capabilities, to support a purely wholesale wireless data business model. The huge scale of the project is unique and innovative in the US market, but there are several large challenges that will have to be overcome if it is to be successful.

Executive summary
In a nutshell
Ovum view
Entering a crowded 4G market
The US is already the battlefield for 4G technologies
A new business model focused on an open wholesale LTE model
Major challenges exist for LightSquared
Contiguous spectrum is the key to success
The use of L-band spectrum for LTE brings its own challenges
LightSquared is entering the LTE market later than other established US players
Roaming on other networks will be complex and expensive
FCC coverage obligations require significant capex
A potentially challenging addressable market
Potential competition from Clearwire on LTE wholesale
NSN will play a critical role
LightSquared will rely heavily on NSN for execution
Access to cell sites and backhaul are crucial
LightSquared will benefit from a brand new network optimized for mobile data
SWOT analysis
Summary assessment of LightSquared’s LTE project


Table 1: Major 4G projects in the US
Table 2: SWOT analysis of LightSquared’s LTE project
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