Friday, October 28, 2011

Is LightSquared a wholesale vision of the telecom future?

Is LightSquared the “fat pipe” future for telecom operators?  And a future wholesale partner for internet-based voice players?

It is generally agreed that there are two directions for operators in a future filled with free internet-based voice, video and texting services – the “smart telco” and the “bit-pipe provider.”

Most operators want to be the “smart telco,” maintaining prestige, control and innovation.  But LightSquared – with its history as a satellite-based communications firm – in the US is showing the innovative – and controversial – edge of the “bit-pipe” model.

LightSquared – with close cooperation from Sprint – wants to build a nationwide, wholesale 4G network to compete with Verizon and AT&T based on spectrum previously reserved for satellite phones (this is where both serious technical and political controversy come in), but it doesn’t plan to run it.

If LightSquared ever builds its network, it will be a “white label” provider of network capacity. So far it has signed up a wide array of partners, from big ones with Sprint and Best Buy to small ones serving small businesses and rural consumers, plus chip and device deals with Qualcomm and Sharp.

But what about the over-the-top (OTT) angle?  Could an OTT player, say, Skype, buy capacity from LightSquared for its own network to expand its functionality and free itself from traditional operators? 

In fact, it’s already happened, with the LightSquared deal with VoIP provider NetTALK.

Is that the real future for LightSquared? Could they go with a mobile VoIP company next? And can this model be replicated?


  1. Hmmm, LightSquared. No usable spectrum for a 4G LTE network, a whole heap of regulatory problems, and the need to raise billions of dollars in additional funding to cover its obligations to Sprint. The OTT angle may be an interesting one, but how many of these problems will it solve?

  2. Yes, we didn't get into the rather dramatic practical issues facing LightSquared in the post. The news seems to change each day.

    But if not LightSquared, then maybe a successor? Is the model sustainable, assuming someone can actually build a new network in the US, particularly?

  3. The model itself has much to recommend it. It might be a while before we see it in action, though.

  4. Light Squared is a good service provider for the telecoms they are using latest technologies and we all know that new technologies are always helpful for businesses. I also known a company called Go4customer, and they are also using good technologies to offer their call centre and BPO service. You can contact them 24-7 for one of the best call centre services.