Likely to add controversy to its plans to build a nationwide 4G LTE wireless broadband network, LightSquared today announced the signing of a wholesale network agreement with FreedomPop, a business entity that purports to be developing a free broadband wireless service that will be available throughout the U.S.
FreedomPop’s website is devoid of any information about the company or its free wireless broadband access plans. The only item on the website are entry fields for personal information. Lending it some credibility, the company is backed by Niklas Zennstrom’s Atomico venture capital firm. Zennstrom co-founded Skype, Kazaa and Rdio.
LightSquared expects to have its nationwide 4G LTE broadband network up and running in 2H 2012. It will be used to carry FreedomPop’s mobile broadband service, as well as providing wholesale 4G LTE access to a number of partners.
With an expected launch date sometime next year, FreedomPop’s principle aim is “to ensure that every American has access to fast, free and convenient communications services.” That said, the venture will initially focus on “underserved markets,” according to the press release.
Bringing broadband to all Americans is a fundamental tenet of LightSquared’s touted mission as well. “FreedomPop represents the kind of disruptive service model that LightSquared is enabling, and shares our belief that broadband access is a right for everyone,” said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our nationwide network will allow FreedomPop to make a profound impact by delivering affordable high-speed wireless access to underserved communities across the country.”