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Lawmakers, Technology Experts and Rural Advocates Call on Government to Find Speedy Solution to Spectrum Crunch
Nov 30, 2011 (05:11 PM EST)
Cite LightSquared's Wholesale Business Model as Part of Solution
RESTON, Va., Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A diverse group of experts today called on the government to do more to expand broadband to spur economic growth, connect rural communities, lower prices and improve wireless service for all Americans at a forum convened by Roll Call to discuss America's Spectrum Crunch.
Key public and private sector voices in the spectrum debate discussed the critical role broadband plays in the future of the America's economy as we continue to innovate and compete in a rapidly changing global marketplace. The event, co-sponsored by LightSquared and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, was designed to bring attention to the escalating demand for spectrum driven by Americans' exploding use of smart phones, tablets and personal computers.
Currently, there are more wireless devices in the U.S. than there are people, and this surge in new demand is creating a traffic jam in the available spectrum. Ordinary cell phones are being overtaken by smart phones, which consume 24 times more data than a traditional cell phone, and tablets use 122 times more data than a traditional cell phone.
This demand is already severely taxing the available spectrum capacity in the United States, and demand for data is expected to increase 50 times over in the next four years.
LightSquared is the first wholesale-only 4G-LTE wireless network operator, integrated with satellite coverage, delivering the speed, value, and reliability of universal connectivity, anywhere in the United States. Bringing LightSquared's network online and offering connectivity at wholesale prices means businesses, customers and consumers will benefit.
Event panelists Harold Feld of Public Knowledge and Christopher Guttman-McCabe of CTIA-The Wireless Association agreed that LightSquared is a critical part of the spectrum solution.
Feld said, "I think it's really important that we get the LightSquared spectrum out there. I think it's important because we need more [spectrum] and what they are offering in a wholesale network is very important."
Guttman-McCabe added: "Having a wholesale partner out there, a nationwide wholesale partner, will be fantastic for the whole ecosystem."
Rob Atkinson, of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) agreed, "If we want to have the future we all think about and want to have, we need to have more spectrum, more wireless broadband."
"LightSquared has a great alternative for carriers that need more access to spectrum," said Rebecca Murphy Thompson, general counsel of the Rural Cellular Association. "Many of our rural carriers are partners with them because it provides quick access to 4G and I think that is what our members are looking for."
Representative Cliff Stearns, (R-Fla) called for more spectrum: "There is a spectrum crunch…and it's really a little bit embarrassing, even though we're a large economic power, that we have, as a country, allowed this to occur."
The U.S. falls behind South Korea, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania in download speeds, "and we should be doing something about it."
Stearns called for a national spectrum inventory that would allow the federal government to combine smaller bands of spectrum into larger blocks that would make it more useful to consumers. LightSquared spent eight years working with other spectrum users to combine enough spectrum in the L-band, which is allocated to satellites, so that it could also be used for a terrestrial cell-phone network. In addition, Stearns noted that LightSquared and other private companies have found innovative ways to put spectrum in the hands of public safety workers.
LightSquared Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said it's time for Washington to break "the public policy log jam" and find innovative ways to get new spectrum to the American people. "Broadband spectrum plays a critical role in the future of our economy."
"It makes it possible for small businesses and large businesses alike to reach new markets, for workers to access new skills and advance their careers, and for our country and its communities to innovate and compete in a rapidly changing global marketplace."
The CQ Roll Call Forum, "Finite Spectrum, Infinite Demand: Solving the Spectrum Crunch," was co-sponsored by the ITIF and LightSquared. Visit cqrollcall.com/spectrum for more information and to watch the archived webcast.
LightSquared's mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. With the creation of the first-ever, wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage, LightSquared offers people the speed, value and reliability of universal connectivity, wherever they are in the United States. As a wholesale-only operator, LightSquared will deploy an open 4G wireless broadband network to be used by existing and new service providers to sell their own devices, applications and services – at a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared. The deployment and operation of LightSquared's network represent more than $14 billion of private investment over the next eight years. For more information about LightSquared, please go to www.LightSquared.com, www.facebook.com/LightSquared and www.twitter.com/LightSquared.
Forward Looking Statement
This release contains forward-looking statements and information regarding LightSquared and its business. Such statements are based on the current expectations and certain assumptions of LightSquared's management and are, therefore, subject to certain risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements expressed herein relate only to information as of the date of this release. LightSquared has no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release, nor is there any assurance that the plans or strategies discussed in this release will not change.