Ligado Scores US$4B Funding Boost For 5G


US satellite communications company Ligado Networks raised US$3.85 billion to fuel plans to deploy 5G services using L-band spectrum, moving ahead with the effort despite continued opposition from critics.

The company stated the funding will allow it to strengthen strategic partnerships with industry players including chipset designers, device manufacturers and network infrastructure providers. It added the money will also go toward integrating IoT technology into its satellite service capabilities and developing an “innovative private network solution” for the enterprise and industrial sectors.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported Ligado Networks was seeking fresh funding from investors to avoid filing for bankruptcy for a second time, as it faced the maturation of substantial debt amassed in recent years while it waited for approval from regulators to move ahead with its L-Band scheme.

It filed for bankruptcy under its previous name, LightSquared, in 2012, emerging from protection in 2015 and setting its current path in 2016. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Ligado Networks’ 5G plan in April, though several US government agencies and aerospace groups subsequently petitioned the regulator to reverse course.

With funding and FCC approval secured, Ligado Networks CEO Doug Smith said the company is “in a great position to work with the industry to get this spectrum deployed for 5G”, adding “now the fun begins”.

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