In a presentation at this year’s CTIA show in Orlando, Florida, LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja announced that mammoth electronics retailer Best Buy has signed on as a client for its pending LTE-based nationwide broadband network. Although Best Buy hasn’t specified what kinds of products it has in mind, it will buy service from LightSquared to sell under its own Best Buy Connect brand.
According to Ahuja, the companies plan to start testing service in 2012, with retail products to follow.
LightSquared was launched by high-profile hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone, and aims to built out a nationwide mobile broadband network build on LTE service, and sell access to that network to wholesale clients. Ahuja also said Leap Wireless, part of the Cricket phone service, is also on board to use LightSquared services. Recent reports have had number-three mobile operator Sprint in talks with LightSquared about using LIghtSquared’s LTE network as a supplement or possible replacement for Clearwire’s WiMax-based 4G services—and those talks may be intensifying with AT&T’s just-announced $39 billion acquisition plan for number-four mobile operator T-Mobile USA.