Sprint Officially Drops LightSquared Like a Hot Rock, Partnership Ends Before it Ever Got Started
It’s now official like a referee with a whistle! Following an onslaught of reports, Sprint has finally deep-sixed their planned partnership with LightSquared. Not much of a shocker here as the troubled wireless ISP had lost its uphill battle with the FCC over GPS interference issues. As mentioned before this breakup comes with a bit of a prenup that will see Sprint returning $65 million in prepayments to LightSquared for costs that were never incurred. In spite of the implosion of this deal, Sprint says that they’re still up to doing business with LightSquared if they can get their act together. But looking at their current position, we won’t be holding our breath. Press release coming up after the break.
Sprint Elects to Terminate Spectrum Hosting Agreement with LightSquared
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), March 16, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE: S) today issued the following statement regarding the spectrum hosting agreement it signed with LightSquared in June 2011. Per the agreement, Sprint agreed to deploy and operate an LTE network capable of utilizing the 1.6 GHz spectrum licensed to or available to LightSquared. The agreement contained contingencies related to possible interference issues with LightSquared’s spectrum, including Sprint’s right to terminate the agreement if certain conditions were not met by LightSquared.
“Sprint has been and continues to be supportive of LightSquared’s business plans and appreciates the company’s efforts to find a resolution to the interference issues impacting its ability to offer service on the 1.6 GHz spectrum. However, due to these unresolved issues, and subject to the provisions of the agreement, Sprint has elected to exercise its right to terminate the agreement announced last summer. We remain open to considering future spectrum hosting agreements with LightSquared, should they resolve these interference issues, as well as other interested spectrum holders.
“Late last year, both companies agreed to halt deployment design and implementation of LightSquared’s network to ensure that Sprint’s Network Vision project remained on schedule. While unfortunate, termination of the agreement will have no impact on Sprint’s current customers and is not material to Sprint’s ongoing business operations. Network Vision remains on schedule and on budget, and we look forward to begin launching our 4G LTE network mid-year.
“Per the terms of the agreement, Sprint has returned $65 million in prepayments LightSquared made to cover costs that were not ultimately incurred by Sprint.”
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 55 million customers at the end of 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.