Airspan, LightSquared Partner to Market Wireless Smart Grid Spectrum

[Satellite TODAY 08-06-10] Airspan Networks, a broadband wireless access solutions provider, signed an agreement with LightSquared to market its 1.4 gigahertz (GHz) wireless spectrum for Smart Grid and Smart Utility applications in the United States, LightSquared announced Aug. 5.
    Airspan, which provides last- and middle-mile access and backhaul solutions on a range of radio spectrum, will combine U.S. Federal Communications Commission-approved fixed broadband and 4G technology with LightSquared’s 1.4 GHz spectrum to maximize overall Smart Grid network capacity and real-time system responsiveness. The 1.4 GHz licensed spectrum will be managed by Airspan and be made available to utilities in their distinct geographic markets.
    “The combination of equipment and licensed spectrum eliminates the problem of relying on interference susceptible shared frequencies for mission-critical applications," Airspan CTO Paul Senior said in a statement.
    LightSquared is the result of an eight-year, $7 billion joint venture between Harbinger Capital Partners and Nokia Siemens Networks to build and operate a 4G LTE satellite and mobile broadband network for wireless providers, announced in July.  LightSquared will rely on satellites and terrestrial spectrum that Harbinger acquired through its $280 million purchase of SkyTerra in March. LightSquared plans to launch in its first markets by the middle of 2011 and aims to provide coverage to 92 percent of the United States by 2015. The company will raise up to $1.75 billion in debt and equity before service launch.

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