Ligado raises $3.85bn for terrestrial L-band
October 28, 2020
By Chris Forrester
Ligado Networks has raised $3.85 billion in fresh capital from investors including JPMorgan Chase. Ligado Networks, formerly known as LightSquared has a spectrum “sharing” agreement in place which requires it to pay significant sums to Inmarsat every year.
The FCC, back in April, unanimously approved Ligado’s plan to deploy a terrestrial network in the US using L-band to support, for example, ‘Internet of Things’ demand.
The extra capital means that Ligado is no longer threatened by a potential bankruptcy. Ligado, which hasn’t paid Inmarsat for some time, will now pay out some $700 million once the financing round is sewn up.
“Today is a great day, and now the fun begins. We’ve secured our licence, we’ve raised the necessary capital, and we’re in a great position to work with the industry to get this spectrum deployed for 5G to support critical industries across the US,” said Doug Smith, Ligado President/CEO.
However, the move has not been welcomed by all. A number of agencies and user groups say the exploitation of L-band terrestrially could disrupt GPS reception.
Nevertheless, the extra funding for Ligado had won support from the likes of Nokia, Intel, Samsung and others. Ligado adds that the capital raised will help it further strengthen commercial co-operations with chipset designers, device manufacturers and network infrastructure providers.