LightSquared, a company building a new wireless broadband network to compete with those of AT&T, Verizon and Clearwire, says it has scored its first phone-company customer, Leap Wireless.
LightSquared’s plan is to sell wholesale access to its network to phone companies and any other companies that might want to resell broadband Internet access. Leap Wireless International Inc., the parent of the Cricket phone service, plans to use LightSquared’s “fourth-generation,” or 4G, network to supplement its own. San Diego-based Leap is the country’s seventh-largest phone company, with 5.5 million customers. Analysts have speculated that T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest phone company, would be interested in dealing with LightSquared, but that possibility has been taken off the table with Sunday’s announcement that AT&T Inc. has agreed to buy T-Mobile.