10.07.10

Waiting for the other shoe to drop?

Posted in Financials, LightSquared, Operators, Spectrum, TerreStar at 9:17 am by timfarrar

Although Harbinger/LightSquared hasn’t yet got a terrestrial network to rival those of other cellular operators, it certainly has proved more than a match for them in its PR department, garnering significant positive coverage in recent months for its buildout plans, fundraising and potential partners, despite the doubts of many commentators.

However, its also the case that LightSquared has deployed its PR efforts very strategically, most notably when it announced the deal with Nokia Siemens Networks in July, straight after a skeptical article appeared in the WSJ. This week we also saw the announcement of further funding for LightSquared immediately preceding the decision to sell half of Harbinger’s stake in Inmarsat.

As a result, we’re left wondering if today’s announcement of a chipset partnership and initial device manufacturers, which also “paints a very positive picture for where LightSquared is going”, signals that there will be some bad news coming out soon. What might that be? Well as we’ve pointed out before, decision day is rapidly approaching for TerreStar, which could well involve a bankruptcy filing or other restructuring, and would certainly be another worrying sign for the MSS-ATC sector.

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