Sprint to gain LTE access thanks to 15-year deal with LightSquared?

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| June 17, 2011

Sprint LTE

There's been no shortage of rumblings suggesting that Sprint may be making the move to LTE at some point in the future, and back in February Sprint itself said that a decision on a switch to LTE could be made as soon as the middle of this year. Well, we're in the middle of the year, and it seems that Sprint may have made its choice. According to a report from Bloomberg, Sprint has signed a 15-year deal with LightSquared that'll see the No. 3 carrier share the equipment and network expansion costs in exchange for access to LightSquared's LTE network. News of the deal, which is valued at as much as $20 billion, came from a letter penned by LightSquared owner Philip Falcone sent to investors. The letter says that "LightSquared and Sprint will jointly develop, deploy and operate LightSquared’s 4G LTE network" and that "Sprint will become a significant customer of LightSquared’s 4G LTE network."

Sprint has yet to comment on the matter, so it's not yet clear what Sprint's plans for the LTE network or its current WiMAX network are. Still, a move to LTE could make sense for Sprint, especially considering that that's the direction that the other major carriers are heading. It's worth mentioning that LightSquared's LTE network has been said to cause interference with GPS systems, and many believe that the company's network plans aren't going to work as planned. Whatever happens, you can bet that we'll be keeping a close eye on the situation and will pass along more information as it becomes available. Stay tuned!

Via PhoneScoop, Bloomberg