Sprint and LightSquared nearing $20 bln LTE deal?

LightSquared logo

With AT&T and T-Mobile looking to merge to usurp Verizon Wireless as the top mobile provider in the United States, it’s no secret that number three Sprint is going to have to make some serious moves if it hopes to remain a major player in the mobile industry. Sprint recently inked a $1 billion deal for wholesale access to Clearwire’s WiMax network and now Bloomberg is reporting Sprint may be on the verge of a 15-year deal that will see billionaire Philip Falcone’s LightSquared pay up to $20 billion in a broad network sharing and built-out plan.

Citing “two people familiar with the talks,” LightSquared could pay Sprint up to $2 billion a year in the early stages of the contract to help pay for build-out of network services to support LTE 4G mobile broadband; once the network is built out, LightSquared would pay Sprint for access based on the number of customers LightSquared brings to the network, as well as their overall usage patterns.

Reports of Sprint and LightSquared talking about an LTE partnership have been circulating for months. Sprint has committed to investing $5 billion over the next three to five years to upgrade its network of terrestrial base stations to support 4G services on multiple frequencies; the result may be that Sprint’s network could support both LTE and WiMax services with a single set of equipment on a cell tower.

LightSquared has been planning to launch wholesale 4G LTE services in the United States, and claims it is on scheduled to introduced commercial services in early 2012. The company agreed last year to FCC conditions that require the company to offer service to 100 million Americans by the end of 2012 as part of the Obama administration’s national broadband initiative. By 2016, that number needs to climb to 260 million. LightSquared’s existing network design involves using high-powered signals between satellites and ground-based stations, and has drawn criticism from the likes of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the U.S. Air Force Space Command over concerns it will interfere with low-power GPS systems that use nearby frequencies.

Industry reports have also had LightSquared in discussions with AT&T about leasing LTE network capacity.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Clean up with robot vac, upright vacuum, and spot and stain remover deals

Whether you're gift shopping or need to get your house ready for the holidays, deals on household cleaning appliances are always welcome. We found Walmart's best deals on robot vacs, upright vacuum cleaners, and spot and stain cleaners.
Deals

Today’s best Amazon deals: Sony, Netgear, and Samsung

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but for retail giants like Amazon, the savings are only getting started. We've scoured the depths of Amazon to find you the very best deals going on right now.
Deals

Save up to $750 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $750.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Google to end support for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich

Anyone with an old phone that is still running Android 4.0 may want to look into upgrading their phone, as Google has announced that it will be ending support for this older version of Android.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Mobile

Amazon knocks $30 off its Paperwhite ebook reader in limited-time deal

Amazon is running a couple of limited-time deals for its Paperwhite ebook reader. One offers a $30 discount, while the other throws in a pair of headphones and a free, extended Audible trial.
Mobile

New Galaxy S10 leaks showcase display sizes, confirm headphone jack return

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 -- will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

LG G7 owners experiencing dreaded bootloop will have to wait a few days for fix

If you’ve picked up LG’s flagship and it’s not behaving itself, then you might find a solution here. We’ve rounded up the most common LG G7 ThinQ problems and tracked down workarounds and possible fixes.
Mobile

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Mobile

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Xiaomi is preparing to set records with 48-megapixel phone camera

Bigger doesn't always mean better, but it certainly makes headlines. Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi is set to release a phone camera with a staggeringly large 48 megapixels on a single sensor.