A prominent New York hedge fund billionaire intends to take on several of the country's biggest telecoms by building a massive 4G wireless network that one analyst has called "breathtaking in its ambition." Harbinger Capital Partners, run by Philip Falcone, and SkyTerra announced a merger -- a take-private deal with an enterprise value of nearly $2 billion, according to the companies. The FCC formally approved the deal last Friday.
Harbinger issued a statement saying it's building a new network that will cover most of the country by 2015, with tests rolling out in Denver and Phoenix next year. Falcone aims to use spectrum owned by his satellite investments -- including SkyTerra and TerraStar -- to build a wholesale data network "that could be resold by anyone wanting to offer 4G services to their customers, such as retailers or laptop/device manufacturers."
SkyTerra's satellite network system operates over North America and within 200 nautical miles of the waterways surrounding North America. Certain technical considerations and limitations, as well as the nature of customer terminals, can affect the availability of service in certain areas, including Alaska and Canada. In addition, the availability of service at the edge of coverage fluctuates depending on various conditions.
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