03.11.11

Is that it?

Posted in Financials, Globalstar, ICO/DBSD, LightSquared, Operators, Regulatory, Spectrum, TerreStar at 11:48 am by timfarrar

He came from a hardscrabble background, rising to prominence along with his flamboyant wife, who became a favorite of the tabloids. After raising hundreds of millions of dollars, his unstinting efforts to bring essential resources to millions of people in remote areas attracted the interest and favor of political leaders and government agencies alike.

No, its not the story of Phil Falcone, but the autobiography of Bob Geldof. After today’s announcement of a deal with Open Range, something that other MSS-ATC proponents openly scoffed at when Open Range signed its original deal with Globalstar, I’m also left asking “Is that it?”.

Its worth recalling that the prior spectrum lease contract between Open Range and Globalstar called for annual spectrum lease payments which in the first six years were projected to range from $0.6M to $10.3M, something that is little more than a Band Aid in the context of Harbinger’s $2.9B investment in LightSquared. I’m therefore left with the distinct impression that LightSquared intended to announce a much bigger deal with MetroPCS, as I suggested yesterday, but it has not yet been possible to reach agreement over a joint bid on the 2GHz MSS spectrum.

Given the pressure to reach a deal on any bid for the DBSD spectrum before the next hearing on Tuesday March 15, and DBSD’s intention to announce its preferred bidder the day before, we will have to wait and see if a MetroPCS deal can be struck over the next three days, or if Mr. Falcone will be the one left singing “I Don’t Like Mondays“.

2 Comments »

  1. ORBITRAX said,

    March 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    “The partnership is expected to include a licensing arrangement whereby Open Range will lease LightSquared’s L-band spectrum.”

    A spectrum lease??? So much for that promise of an “integrated offering”!

    “Integrated network. The satellite and terrestrial components of LightSquared’s
    network will be integrated technically. All traffic, whether it passes through the
    satellite or terrestrial conduits, will be processed and handled by the same integrated core network and business/operations support systems (“B/OSS”). Similarly, a single set of Regional Aggregation Centers and National Data Centers will be used for satellite and terrestrial traffic. From an operational perspective, therefore, there is no separate “satellite network” or “terrestrial network.” There is only a single “integrated network,” making for a seamless customer experience and thus a technically integrated network.”

    At the end of the day. The IB got what they wanted. Which was Open Range cleared from the Big LEO S-Band. Next up.. Iridium S-Band application for NEXT?????

    As Iridium stated in their October Space Station Renewal….

    >>Iridium Constellation LLC (“Iridium”) seeks to renew its space station license for its Non-Geostationary Mobile Satellite Service (“NGSO MSS”) constellation, Call Sign S2110,for an additional fifteen-year license term. During the additional license period, Iridium will continue to operate existing in-orbit satellites until decommissioning at end-of-life,will replenish its existing constellation with in-orbit spares and will launch and operate new next generation satellites. Once the technical design of Iridium’s next generation satellites has been finalized, Iridium will request modification of its space station authorization to accommodate the new design.<<

    ORBITRAX

  2. timfarrar said,

    March 12, 2011 at 12:16 am

    You need to parse the press release very carefully. It states that Open Range will lease LightSquared’s L-band spectrum not its L-band satellite spectrum. LightSquared controls 8MHz in the 1.4GHz band and 5MHz in the 1670-75MHz band (both terrestrial spectrum bands with no ATC requirements).

    To date there has been no indication how or whether these bands would be incorporated in the LightSquared FDD-LTE ATC network (indeed rights to use the 1.4GHz spectrum were granted “exclusively” to Airspan last August). However, according to the March 2010 agreement with the FCC, it appears LightSquared is potentially entitled to count any buildout in these bands towards its coverage obligations (including the need to build out 100M POPs by the end of 2012).

    It would therefore be logical to guess that Open Range is going to use a TDD-LTE architecture and build out in the 1670-75MHz band.

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