Nokia Siemens Networks has won a USD 7 billion, eight-year deal to build the LightSquared LTE network in the US, backed by Harbinger Capital Partners. Harbinger announced the contract as well as the new name LightSquared for the venture, which will build a terrestrial wireless network integrated with satellite capacity to provide wholesale backhaul services across the US. Former Orange CEO Sanjiv Ahuja was earlier announced CEO of the new company. The NSN contract, which remains subject to approval by both companies’ boards, includes network design, equipment manufacturing and installation, and network operations and maintenance. The nationwide LightSquared network, consisting of around 40,000 cellular base stations, is expected to cover 92 percent of the US population by 2015. In addition to the USD 2.9 billion of assets already contributed by Harbinger Capital Partners and affiliates, LightSquared announced additional debt and equity financing of up to USD 1.75 billion.

LightSquared also named Frank Boulben, former group commercial director and marketing director for Vodafone, as its chief marketing officer. He will oversee strategy, marketing, and partner development. Curtis Lu, former deputy general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer for Time Warner, will be the company’s general counsel, and former Orange executive Steve Olive is chief administrative officer, responsible for human resources, procurement, facility management, and internal communications functions. Drew Caplan, formerly SkyTerra’s chief network officer, will continue to serve in this capacity for LightSquared, as will Jeff Carlisle, the regulatory affairs director at SkyTerra, and Jeff Snyder, VP for satellite engineering and operations. Martin Harriman, a former executive at Ericsson and chief marketing officer of Marconi, was named executive vice president of Ecosystem Development and Satellite Business. Harriman will oversee satellite engineering, devices, chipset development, service applications, and partner solutions. Doug Smith, the VP of engineering and operations at Clearwire, is taking up the same position at LightSquared, and will be responsible for the company’s network design, deployment, and operations. Dion Oglesby, an investment banker, will serve as interim CFO.