July 20, 2010 by · Comments Off on Lightsquared 

LightsquaredLightsquared, NEW YORK — AP —  U.S. consumers and businesses could get additional options in wireless service starting next year, by the launch of a new wireless broadband network that aims to provide competition to the incumbent phone companies.
Private-equity firm Harbinger Capital Partners on Tuesday revealed details of the launch of its wireless network, LightSquared, which should cover 92 percent of the population by 2015.
But there are financial and regulatory hurdles to overcome. And in another wrinkle, LightSquared won’t initially be offering conventional cell phone service, just data. It’s possible to send phone calls over data connections, but that technology is not fully mature or standardized.
Still, LightSquared represents a rare new entrant in the wireless market. Only two other companies, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc., have firm plans to build nationwide networks using the same, fourth-generation network technology that LightSquared will use. Sprint Nextel Corp., through its Clearwire Corp. subsidiary, is building a third one with a different 4G technology that’s likely to get less support from equipment makers.
Consumers won’t buy service directly from LightSquared. Instead, it will sell access wholesale to other companies that can resell it to consumers. LightSquared hopes to attract cable TV providers, phone companies that don’t have wireless networks of their own and retailers that want to provide wireless service under their own brand.
Dan Hays, who focuses on telecommunications with consulting firm PRTM, said LightSquared “could provide a renewed opportunity for retailers and major brands such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Office Depot to enter the wireless market as service providers to consumers.”
LightSquared plans to start providing service in the second half of 2011 in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver and Baltimore.
LightSquared said Nokia Siemens Networks will build, maintain and operate the network under a $7 billion, eight-year contract. Nokia Siemens is a joint venture of Finland’s Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG of Germany.
The contract is an important step for Nokia Siemens, which hasn’t had much of a presence in the U.S. market for wireless equipment. On Monday, it announced a deal to buy Motorola Inc.’s networks business for $1.2 billion, with a view to increasing its foothold in the U.S.
One reason it’s rare for new national wireless carriers to spring up is that it’s difficult and expensive to procure the rights to airwaves across the nation. Verizon Wireless paid $9.4 billion for nationwide spectrum rights in a 2008 auction, for example.
LightSquared is in an unusual position in that it owns nationwide wireless spectrum once set aside for satellite phone use. Harbinger bought SkyTerra, a satellite company, earlier this year.
Placing calls over satellites is expensive and impractical compared with using cell towers, so the FCC allows spectrum holders to back up satellite coverage with towers. That gives LightSquared a “back door” to building out a conventional ground-based network of cell towers.
However, under current FCC rules, all devices that use LightSquared’s spectrum have to come with the ability to connect to a satellite besides conventional cell towers, according to satellite industry consultant Tim Farrar. That would add to the cost of devices and limit the selection.
LightSquared is banking on the FCC changing its rules to allow devices that only talk to towers. Regardless, it needs to launch a satellite later this year to satisfy the FCC’s condition that it be able to provide satellite connectivity.
The launch of the new network would fit into the FCC’s goals of creating more competition in the wireless market. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Tuesday that he was pleased to learn of the creation of LightSquared.
Farrar said it’s also not clear if Harbinger will be able to raise the billions needed to build out the network, and other expenses.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see where this money comes from,” Farrar said.
Tom Surface, a spokesman for LightSquared, said the company “will evaluate our funding needs as we develop and grow our business.”
LightSquared’s CEO is Sanjiv Ahuja, who was CEO of French cell phone company Orange from 2004 through 2007. He then founded a company that started wireless service in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Donner Party

July 20, 2010 by · Comments Off on Donner Party 

Donner PartyDonner Party:(CNN) – Researchers have made an unexpected discovery among the topics a member of the Donner Party kept in a suitcase on the trip unfortunate group of California: a military document with the writing of Abraham Lincoln in it.

Donner Party member James Reed and his family took the name plates at Lincoln between its precious relics, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum said in a statement released Monday.

A team of librarians, historians and handwriting experts combined forces to confirm that Lincoln had explained one of the documents, which are Lincoln and volunteer soldiers who fought in the Black Hawk War of 1832.

“Often we find documents that detail the fascinating stories about the life of Abraham Lincoln and the times, but it is rare that the document has an intriguing history as having been written,” said Daniel Stowell, director of the Abraham Lincoln Papers . “Part of these documents detail the military service of Lincoln and who accompanied the Donner Party in California makes them doubly significant.”

The four plates include “Private Abraham Lincoln” from the list of the soldiers. In one of them, experts say two half lines and is clearly written in Lincoln’s hand. And the documents show that Lincoln had a value of horse and equipment worth 85 and 15 and, bearing in mind that Lincoln was a tent that was owned by the United States to be returned at the end of their service.

Lincoln wrote the lines, said: “Muster Roll of Captain Jacob M. Earleys Company of Mounted Volunteers gathered outside the United States service by order of Gen. Atkinson U.S. Army on the whitewater rivers of the River Rock July 10, 1832. ”

The documents are part of James Frazier Reed Collection at the California State Library.

Reed’s name appears just below Lincoln on the list. He was one of the members of the organization of the Donner Party, a group of pioneers known for resorting to cannibalism while enduring a harsh winter in the mountains of Sierra Nevada.

He probably inherited the roles of commander of the military company, and took with him when he left Springfield, Illinois, in April 1846 because they were part of his personal history, the Lincoln Presidential Library said.

While historians believe that the accompanying documents of the Donner Party for the entire trip, Reed did not. He was banished from the group after struggling with a road and stabbed to death Monday’s statement said the library.

He left the papers with his wife after being expelled from the party, and “she was easily in her womb to California where the aid of the first relief expedition was to help”, daughter of Martha Jane “Patty” Reed recalls.