LightSquared, a company that most cell phone subscribers have never heard of, is building a nationwide wireless broadband network that it hopes will rival the nation's largest providers AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
The company has gotten a lot of buzz lately as the Federal Communications Commission and others see it as the answer for more competition in the wireless market. AT&T's announcement last month that it will acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion has raised eyebrows among regulators and consumer advocates concerned about too much consolidation in the wireless market.
LightSquared, which plans to sell its service wholesale instead of directly to consumers, has already signed up Leap Wireless and Cellular South as customers. Retail chain Best Buy has also committed to testing the service, and rumors are floating around that the company may be signing a deal with Sprint Nextel to share network resources.
And even though the network won't be up and running until early next year, there's already talk that the company may go public this summer.
But what is LightSquared exactly? And what are its chances of success? And finally, what does the potential success of this company mean for the average consumer? … Read more