LightSquared, the first open, nationwide, wholesale-only 4G-LTE broadband network, announced Monday that it has raised $265 million in a round of funding led by new and existing investors, bringing the company’s total raised over the last year to $2.3 billion. The company says it will use the new funds for “general corporate purposes,” which includes building out its broadband network.
Founded in 2010, LightSquared has embarked on an ambitious journey, aiming to become the nation’s first completely open, wholesale-only broadband network using Long Term Evolution (LTE), the most widely adopted 4G standard, to combine with one of the largest commercial satellites ever launched and thereby provide coverage to the entire U.S. The company’s overarching goal is to support mobile devices and enable users to develop innovative new applications that were previously limited by a lack of wireless connectivity in certain regions, particularly rural areas throughout the U.S.
To that end, LightSquared supports the FCC’s National Broadband Plan to bring broadband Internet to all Americans. The company estimates that the deployment and management of its network will generate 15,000 direct and indirect jobs each year between now and 2015. Additionally, the company anticipates that its broadband network will reach some 260 million Americans by 2015, and from its commercial launch, it will offer the entire nation wireless coverage through its satellite and 3G roaming agreements.
LightSquared’s wholesale-only model allows it to provide its broadband network for service providers to sell their own devices, applications, and services without retail competition from LightSquared.
"This latest round of financing signals another endorsement by the financial markets of our business model, and LightSquared's intent to use private capital to build out a new network to meet the growing demand across this entire nation for wireless broadband access," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and CEO of LightSquared.
Ahuja was previously the CEO of Orange from 2004 to 2007, and in 2007, he founded Augere, a company whose goal was to provide affordable broadband coverage to developing markets like Bangladesh and Pakistan.
While the investors were not disclosed, LightSquared has previously raised funds from Harbinger Capital Partners.