Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sprint allegedly talking to LightSquared over 4G infrastructure deal, Clearwire should be sweating

Bloomberg is citing "three people familiar with the talks" (it's not often that we get a specific number!) as saying that LightSquared is in active negotiations with Sprint to use its network infrastructure as it builds out its L-band LTE network. As you might recall, LightSquared is the would-be 4G wholesaler that is in the process of repurposing some satellite spectrum for terrestrial LTE use -- a concept the FCC has approved, but concerns over GPS interference could end up delaying or derailing the strategy altogether if they aren't solved to everyone's satisfaction. Of course, building out any sort of national terrestrial wireless network is a multi-billion dollar, multi-year type of venture, and presumably a tie-up with Sprint to use some of its hardware would help move matters along. What this means for Sprint's existing dealings with Clearwire is unclear; the two operate a WiMAX network together, after all, but the carrier has made it clear in the past that LTE could definitely be an option in the future.