RESTON, Va. and KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- LightSquared™, a wholesale carrier building a nationwide wireless broadband network that will create consumer choice and drive industry innovation, has signed a wholesale agreement with YourTel America™, which provides telecommunications services through 14 branded retail outlets, call centers and network operations in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Washington.
YourTel America, with 16 years experience serving unserved and underserved low-income customers, is an approved Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) provider. This allows the carrier to deliver voice services to low-income customers through Lifeline, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Universal Service Program for Low-Income Consumers. Using the LightSquared network, YourTel America can now offer high-speed wireless devices at affordable prices to its Lifeline and other low-income customers.
A May 2011 FCC report showed that broadband use in many states remains low; in fact 38 percent of households in Illinois lack any form of broadband, 33 percent in Kansas, 39 percent in Maine, 43 percent in Missouri, 45 percent in Oklahoma, 31 percent in Rhode Island and 28 percent in Washington. LightSquared's partnership with YourTel America will improve access to underserved communities in the states where the company operates.
Many of these states are also major farming states where rural access to broadband is a major challenge. In a letter sent this week to key members of Congress, half a dozen farming organizations - including the American Farm Bureau - urged lawmakers to ensure that broadband access be made available for all of rural America.
LightSquared has now signed 16 partner agreements with companies that are eager to develop innovative mobile services, devices and applications on LightSquared's open network.
"In today's challenging times, access to the latest wireless services opens up a door of opportunity that has been out of reach for our customers and their families with an increasingly valuable tool for success: mobile voice and data services," said Dale Schmick, chief strategy officer at YourTel America and current chairman of COMPTEL, the industry association representing competitive communications service providers and their supplier partners. "LightSquared's unique business model will enable YourTel America to offer affordable, reliable access to our customers, and will help ensure that there is a level playing field for wireless connectivity."
"Access to broadband wireless services for all Americans is at the core of LightSquared's mission," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer of LightSquared. "This partnership will allow YourTel America to provide affordable wireless services to their customers for whom mobility and access to information is especially critical."
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.
About YourTel America
Founded in 1995 in Kansas City, Missouri, YourTel America "gets it". We have been serving our neighbors for 16 years because we know they need affordable communications and they want the same great features and service everyone else wants. For more information about YourTel America visit http://www.yourtelamerica.com
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.