Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) may end its $9 billion, 11-year spectrum-sharing agreement with LightSquared Inc. as soon as next week, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Reston, Va.-based LightSquared, a wireless venture pioneered by billionaire Philip Falcone, seeks to offer broadband wireless LTE service to wholesale buyers. The company is seeking regulatory approval and has been engaged in negotiations with the Federal Communications Commission for some time.
Last July, LightSquared and Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint struck a 15-year deal in which LightSquared would have paid Sprint to deploy and operate a nationwide LTE (long term evolution) network and host L-Band spectrum licensed to LightSquared. The deal also included a 3G roaming agreement with Sprint.
LightSquared hoped to combine an LTE network with one of the largest commercial satellites ever launched, and the company stated that this integrated LTE-satellite network is a world first.
Now the deal may be off. The FCC said last month that it would prevent LightSquared from proceeding with its plans over concerns about disrupted GPS systems.
Adding to the startup's problems, Bloomberg reported that Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia Oyj and Siemens AG, ceased work on LightSquared's network in 2011. The joint venture was involved in constructing LightSquared's network.
With our next generation satellite already operational and our independent core network build underway, LightSquared is now well positioned to meet ... market demand for wireless broadband services with its wholesale-only integrated 4G-LTE and satellite network, LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said when the original deal was announced.
Sprint shares rose 3 cents to $2.42 at midday.