Nokia Siemens seals US$7b LTE deal

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Nokia Siemens seals US$7b LTE deal

US to get first wholesale-only 4G provider

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has secured an eight year US$7 billion deal to build, operate and maintain America’s first wholesale-only 4G-LTE (Long Term Evolution) network for newborn telco LightSquared.

The ambitious and privately funded project will see NSN install 40,000 base stations over eight years, which LightSquared has said would cover 92 percent of the country’s 300 million people.

The wholesale-only network is the brainchild of Philip Falcone, founder of New York-based investment firm, Harbinger Capital Partners.

The investment outfit had previously snapped up SkyTerra Communications, which has now been absorbed by LightSquared.

The SkyTerra Communications acquisition gave the investment firm 59 MHz of nationwide spectrum, according to the telco. 

Heading up the new wholesale only wireless operator will be former Orange Group chief exeuctive, Sanjiv Ahuja who said it will be a “disruptive force” in the US. 

“We’re providing everyone, including underserved communities, with a fast, reliable experience regardless of where they are located in the United States. This network will return our country to its rightful position as a leader in wireless broadband technology and solidify its reputation as the center of global innovation,” he said. 

Locally, Nokia Siemens Networks undertaken LTE tests with Australia's number two telco, Optus, which earlier this month claimed it achieved download speeds in excess of 50 Mbps.   

The trial network architecture includes NSN's Flexi base stationsnetwork gateway and network server products.

The LightSquared win came just a day after Nokia Siemens Networks snapped up US mobile dinosaur Motorola

Some analysts yesterday criticised Nokia Siemens Networks' acquisition of Motorola's network arm as a "desperate attempt to gain market share" in the US following its failed attempt to buy Nortel's mobile network business last year.

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