Tag Archives: wireless

U.S. Agriculture Community Supports LightSquared Network

One of the most significant benefits of LightSquared’s network will be the elimination of the “digital divide” that keeps millions of Americans – many of them in rural areas – from participating in the wireless broadband revolution.

Our network will bring 4G-LTE to rural Americans from coast to coast, and our integrated satellite-terrestrial capabilities will help every corner of the country receive a strong, high-speed wireless broadband signal. We expect that LightSquared will be especially helpful to our nation’s agricultural sector, in which wireless technology is especially needed to conduct business, communicate and receive information from remote locations.

For the past decade, we have developed our network based on the fact that America needs more capacity and competition in broadband wireless, and that the technical challenges – notably, the potential for GPS receiver interference – are surmountable by applying ingenuity and energy to develop engineering solutions. We have always believed that LightSquared and GPS can and will co-exist, for the benefit of the country. That benefit will be felt by all Americans in the form of increased choice, greater innovation and lower prices – but perhaps most notably among farmers, who too often are denied its benefits.

This week, we received a strong endorsement of our view that LightSquared and GPS can co-exist from several of the country’s leading agricultural organizations: the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sugar Alliance, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Farmers Union, National Potato Council and the Western Growers Association. These groups signed a joint letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees calling for them to work to ensure that the agricultural sector receives the benefits of LightSquared’s network alongside GPS.

“We believe that both of these technologies have great potential to drive economic development in rural America and a reasonable agreement should be reached to allow for their future success,”

the organizations wrote.

“We urge your committees to communicate to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the benefit farmers and ranchers will receive from expanded broadband access and precision agriculture. The FCC must ensure that accurate GPS will continue to be available for precision agriculture and also ensure that broadband access be made available for all of rural America.”

We welcome the support of these important organizations and their members. Read the full letter here.

Correcting the Record on LightSquared

Special interests are trying to distract attention from the facts.

For eight years, LightSquared has navigated the regulatory process to win approvals to build America’s first privately funded coast-to-coast wireless broadband service. LightSquared’s plan to invest billions of dollars to use its frequencies for an integrated ground-space network has been supported by both Republican and Democratic regulators –Michael Powell and Kevin Martin, FCC Chairmen appointed by President Bush,and Julius Genachowski, the FCC Chairman appointed by President Obama. In fact, the regulatory approvals that paved our way came in the mid-2000’s, during the Bush administration under Powell and Martin.

Regulators from both parties understand LightSquared’s approach will create more competition in the marketplace, put downward pressure on the prices paid by consumers, create good paying jobs in the tech sector, and give Americans access to the most modern cellular technology. LightSquared’s plan has drawn bipartisan support because it’s right for the country.

Any suggestion that LightSquared has run roughshod over the regulatory process is contradicted by the reality of eight long years spent gaining approvals. Just this week, there has been another request from the government for an additional round of testing of LightSquared’s network.

We understand that some in the telecom sector fear the challenges for their business model that LightSquared presents. We understand the opposition of some in the GPS industry; many of their devices “squat” on someone else’s spectrum and while technological fixes are readily available, some companies are loath to make the necessary engineering changes and would instead prefer to get access to someone else’s spectrum for free.

It’s also ludicrous to suggest LightSquared’s success depends on political connections. This is a private company that has never taken one dollar in taxpayer money. About $10,600 sits in the LightSquared PAC. The founder of LightSquared has given to candidates in both political parties in the last eight years, with two thirds of his contributions going to Republicans because of the founder’s free market philosophy. It’s difficult to charge that LightSquared has undue political influence when it was denied the opportunity to testify at the recent hearing of the House Armed Service Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee – or even be allowed a one-on-one meeting with the chariman of that committee prior to the hearing, as the GPS industry was given.

This entrepreneurial company is poised to create as many as 15,000 jobs as it spends $8 billion to help provide American consumers with cheaper, better cell service. It’s time Washington politicians stop using LightSquared as a piñata. Smart engineers, not political rhetoric, should decide LightSquared’s fate.

If LightSquared is blocked from entering the wireless market, consumers will lose out on the benefits of a new source of more competition, better service and lower prices.

Merger Boils Down to Jobs and Access

There are a lot of opinions being debated about the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile USA merger. From where we stand here in California, it really boils down to two things: jobs and access. Bill Burrato in a Guest Op-Ed in the Pacific Coast Business Times got it right. Whether you live in Ventana or Ventura,

“AT&T’s recently announced plan to acquire T-Mobile is great news for the Central Coast.”

Pointing to the increase of telecommuting, Buratto goes on to say:

“Businesses today are becoming more and more dependent on effective and reliable broadband speeds and seamless coverage throughout the community. Now, it is more common for business to be done by using virtual and electronic communications services. The use of state-of-the-art information technology to conduct business is no longer a competitive advantage, it is a necessity.

The good news is that we no longer have to be tied to our offices. However, we need to make sure that small and large businesses are able to be flexible and mobile when it comes to conducting business wirelessly. Two major technology providers like these coming together would mean that the communications that are at the very core of success for all of our businesses will be more reliable, faster and effective.”

It’s about technology. Or as Buratto puts it

“Simply put, this proposed acquisition will provide technological advancements businesses need to compete on a global level.

This acquisition will help us maintain our state’s competitiveness by giving us expanded and reliable access to high-speed wireless services. Not only will these enhancements to the network infrastructure support innovation, it will help our state continue to cultivate start-up companies that need the most competitive edge to succeed.”

And it’s about rural access:

“This acquisition will help people, companies and institutions in rural communities in California. It’s important that customers in smaller markets have access to technology offered in major metro areas. This acquisition will do that in a significant way, by making LTE technology available to more Californians, no matter where they live.”

Expanding network capacity and accelerating faster speeds to more people in more locations will not only benefit our businesses but it will also benefit residents. In the wake of all the major disasters that have happened over the past couple of years, VCEDA has promoted disaster preparedness to businesses and communities. The strength of the two networks will provide customers with more robust disaster recovery capabilities than we would receive in the absence of this acquisition.

“This merger is great news. It means better service and greater access to fast wireless Internet services. And it means a better and a brighter future for all of our businesses.”

It really is as simple as that. The merger is about creating jobs and expanding access for Californians.

Broadening the Social Web

It’s incredible, when you stop to think about it, just how much we rely on the Internet for work. For fun. For pretty much darn near everything we do. And what’s most remarkable is the strength and ever-growing role of social networking sites that make it all possible.

One of the more interesting discussions of this came from Brdoerick Johnson blogging for the Internet Innovation Alliance’s “The Podium.” Keying off a new Pew study released last month, Johnson points out that 65% of adult Internet users are connected via social networking sites. And most interestingly, he points out,

“it’s not those just past the threshold into adulthood who are jumping in the online social world the most, but rather the Boomers, whose usage on a typical day jumped a whopping 60% in the last year.”

Johnson then goes on to make the point that it’s broadband in conjunction with social networking that is changing the face of business and really, every day life, as we know it, writing that firstly

“social networks are now a major means of communication in today’s business and social economies. And secondly, the expansion of broadband technology has made the social web faster, increasingly interconnected, and more valuable to its users. Gone are the days when online interaction seemed like a trek into the wild and unruly frontier. The rise of the social web also points to our increasing reliance on digital communication in the economy and thus to job creation and economic growth and opportunity.”

Services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn not only make it easy for us to stay connected to people important to us, they’re also playing an important role in business. More and more companies are leveraging the power of social interaction to sell products and services; for example, the emergence of local and family owned food trucks can be attributed to their use of Twitter for real time menu, location, and deal updates.

In addition to changing the conversation between businesses and consumers, the social web, networking through networks, has also enhanced the job seeker’s ability to find (and be found by) potential employers, careers, and startup business opportunities.

That’s what makes the rise of the social web so exciting to watch. When social sites first started hitting the mainstream, social networking may have seemed like little more than a fad. But from the Pony Express to email, we have always looked for new – and more immediate – ways to communicate, and social networking has taken its place as the latest leap forward.

Today, we check in to locations to find nearby deals. We check in with friends for reviews of products and services. We check in with companies to find a job. The rise of social networking has been enhanced by the rise of mobile broadband, and together they are changing our ways of communicating and the face of our economy.”

Johnson concludes by connecting the dots in a compelling way – making the case that it all boils down to one thing: Jobs. He writes

“All business, whether it’s conducted between co-workers or in the global marketplace, depends on interaction. You want to put America back to work? Give every American the ability to interact. Put the power of broadband – wired or wireless – in their hands.”

Wrapping up our 10th hour online here today, much of which was spent on Facebook and Twitter (for work, mind you) we couldn’t agree more.

A Bright Spot on an Otherwise Gloomy Horizon

The news on jobs has not been good lately. There is a bright spot, though, one that has the potential to created thousands of good, well-paying jobs. As AT&T’s Adam Grzybicki, president of AT&T Oregon/Idaho/Montana, explains, it is AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Grzybicki, writing for www.cdapress.com, makes a compelling and clear case that “despite the pervasive headlines, there are some bright spots on the horizon that hold promise to reinvigorate the economy and deliver thousands of jobs for American workers. One of those bright spots is AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

As part of the deal, AT&T has pledged to bring 5,000 jobs back to the United States that are currently outsourced to other countries. This is the single largest commitment by an American company to bring jobs back to the U.S. since the economic crisis began in 2008. The company has also committed to no job losses for wireless call center workers at AT&T and T-Mobile on the payroll at the closing of the proposed acquisition. As the nation faces unemployment figures stubbornly stuck at near historic highs, this is much-needed good news.

As part of the transaction, AT&T will invest more than $8 billion to integrate AT&T and T-Mobile networks and to expand its next-generation 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network. That investment will create an estimated 55,000 to 96,000 jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute study commissioned by the Communications Workers of America. In today’s job market landscape, those numbers are substantial and encouraging.


In everyday terms, super fast wireless connectivity means businesses of all sizes will be able to conduct business on their smart phones or tablets, from anywhere covered by the network. That kind of mobility injects flexibility into business operations and marketing that can have a real impact on a company’s bottom line. In addition to the impact for businesses, widespread access to the latest wireless technology available can revolutionize health care and education.

From handheld wireless devices, doctors can monitor and interact with patients who are comfortably at home. Physicians can share high resolution medical imagery among peers separated by thousands of miles, while standing in an operating room. Students can leverage wireless applications and high quality online content to enrich their classroom experience or even take their experiences outside the classroom. The options made possible by high-speed wireless connections are endless.

The Department of Labor reported that there was no net job increase in the United States in August. Analysts had predicted an increase of 60,000 to 100,000 jobs during that time, but none materialized. In contrast to this gloomy news, the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile is a bright spot on the horizon poised to deliver tens of thousands of American jobs and tremendous residual economic benefits.”

As Grzybicki concluded, the merger and the jobs it would create is indeed welcome news.

Spectrum Scarcity and the Consumer

Can you imagine having to wait your turn to make a mobile phone call? It may seem like a far-fetched concept, but it’s a practical reality in many large urban areas where completing a call during peak times has become a frustrating challenge. After years of double digit growth, the nation’s wireless networks simply don’t have enough capacity on their towers to support the more than 300 million mobile devices in this country.

This spectrum shortage has been compounded by the popularity of smart phones, which use 24 times more wireless capacity than a regular handset. Wireless tablets, such as an iPad, use five times as much as a smartphone, and netbooks send and receive four times as much data as a tablet. It’s easy to see how all those videos, photos and Facebook updates are clogging our nation’s networks and leading to dropped calls and no service signals.

The trend towards more network congestion is clear, and that’s not good news for consumers who are used to technology advancements providing faster speeds and lower prices. But the nation’s wireless networks are not keeping up with the rapid advancement of our mobile devices. Rather than keep up with demand, Verizon and AT&T have begun to ration their customers. Both companies recently stopped offering unlimited wireless plans, meaning that it will cost subscribers more to access the same services.

LightSquared is poised to help alleviate the problem by putting a huge new chunk of airwaves to use. We plan to build a 4G-LTE network that will provide world-class connectivity in urban and rural America. LightSquared’s wholesale model will give a host of different companies – from regional wireline providers to retailers to device manufacturers – the opportunity to offer competitively-priced wireless services while providing the same or better speeds and features as the national carriers. LightSquared is what our nation’s wireless consumers need now.

Expansion of Wireless Network is Critical

This editorial in The Detroit News by Orjiakor N. Isiogu, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission, very nearly perfectly sums up our argument.

Like HDTV before it, 4G-LTE wireless holds incredible promise for consumers and device manufacturers alike. But today there is insufficient wireless capacity to support millions of 4G-LTE devices, and demand is rising ever faster. According to Cisco Systems, mobile traffic is expected to increase 26-fold by 2015. By 2015 the majority of Internet traffic will be via mobile devices – a reality unthinkable just two years ago.

That’s why LightSquared’s venture is significant. It would substantially increase America’s broadband wireless capacity while providing next-generation high-speed wireless data and voice to areas previously underserved. In addition, the company plans to market its nationwide network on a wholesale model, allowing any number of new competitors to enter the market. Many observers have hailed this proposal as a key part of President Obama’s plan to increase high-speed Internet adoption nationwide, while also increasing competition in a consolidating wireless industry, all at zero cost to taxpayers, thanks to a planned $25 billion investment by the company.

More competitors in the market will mean lower prices and better service for consumers, along with expanded wireless broadband options. Another key benefit will be the economic benefit associated with building out a national network, including the creation of an estimated 15,000 jobs per year. Public safety could be enhanced by this network as well.

Simply put, whether you’re somewhere in urban Michigan or rural California, an expanded wireless network means more competition, lower prices, and better service. And we’re doing it all at zero cost to taxpayers.

More Spectrum. Yeah. That’s the Answer!

For real – it is. And the truth is, that while all of this debate about the AT&T/T-Mobile merger is important, worthwhile and necessary, it’s also something of a red herring. Because at the end of the day the problem that the merger was initiated in part to address, the problem that will ultimately prevent new competition, stifle innovation and shut down the incredible potential to create jobs and grow the economy through broadband investment remains.

And that problem is SPECTRUM.

And if there’s something we know a little bit about, it’s the need for more spectrum.

Check out this very excellent article written by Jeff Kagen at E-Commerce Times, “Let’s Solve the Real Wireless Problem: Spectrum Shortage” http://www.technewsworld.com/s…

Bringing Broadband to Every Corner of CA

Few topics today are generating as much discussion as the seemingly insatiable demand for mobile data and how our country is going to keep pace with it. The United States has set a national goal to provide 98 percent of Americans with broadband access within the next five years. LightSquared is stepping up to help make this a reality. We are contributing $14 billion in private investment over the next eight years to build a nationwide wireless broadband network using 4G-LTE technology integrated with satellite coverage. This represents a $14 billion private sector-not government-investment in America’s infrastructure.

The deployment and management of the LightSquared network will, in turn, create new jobs. We expect to generate more than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs in each of the next five years. And that’s just the beginning of what the LightSquared network will help bring to California and across the country.

LightSquared will offer network capacity on a wholesale-only basis. This is a dramatic departure from the current vertically integrated model in the wireless industry, and it will open the broadband market to new players such as retailers, cable companies, and device manufacturers, to name a few. This means that end users – consumers like you – will enjoy the benefits of innovation, increased competition, and choice.

Last, but not least, the LightSquared integrated 4G-LTE-satellite network will provide much-needed access to consumers, businesses, healthcare facilities, tribal communities, and public safety agencies throughout rural America. Across the country, we will serve critical public sector needs such as emergency preparedness and seamless communications in times of crisis.

One of the reasons we are so committed to bringing wireless connectivity to the underserved rural United States was seen in action this past spring. As storms and a tornado ripped through the south, websites were posting potentially lifesaving real-time information. But because broadband Internet access and adoption in Alabama is below the national average, many residents missed out on the advance warning. This is unacceptable. The United States should be the global leader in delivering wireless broadband to all of its citizens, regardless of whether they live in rural Alabama or downtown Los Angeles.