The capital woes of Clearwire have been well documented. But even as the Kirkland broadband wireless company struggles, one of its rivals continues to attract new financing. LightSquared, the Reston, Virginia-based operator of a 4G wireless network, today announced that it has pulled in $265 million from existing and new investors. That means in the past 12 months LightSquared has raised $2.3 billion in debt and equity.
Why the success on the financing trail?
For one, LightSquared has placed its bet on long term evolution or LTE, a technology that’s also been embraced by Verizon. While Clearwire has experimented with an LTE network of its own, it for the most part has built its business around the rival WiMax technology.
“This latest round of financing signals another endorsement by the financial markets of our business model, and LightSquared’s intent to use private capital to build out a new network to meet the growing demand across this entire nation for wireless broadband access,” said LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja in a release.
Clearwire, which is now being led by interim CEO John Stanton, has been undergoing a number of changes in the board room and in the employee ranks. In the past few months, Clearwire has shifted 1,400 customer service and network engineering workers off its books. That comes after layoffs which were announced last fall.
Clearwire lost $227 million in the first quarter, and its stock is down 25 percent so far this year. LightSquared remains privately held.
LightSquared’s technology is not without its critics. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s network could disrupt global positioning systems.
Previously on GeekWire: Clearwire shareholder to CEO John Stanton: Time to sell some spectrum in order fill ‘cash hole’