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Falcone’s LightSquared, Sprint Strike 15-Year Network Accord

Billionaire Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. struck a 15-year deal with Sprint Nextel Corp. to share network expansion costs and equipment in an effort aimed at making both stronger wireless competitors.

LightSquared will pay Sprint to build and operate a nationwide wireless network that uses high-speed long-term evolution, or LTE, technology, the companies said in a statement today. During an 11-year period, LightSquared will pay Sprint $9 billion in cash and credits valued at about $4.5 billion. Sprint can use the credits to acquire capacity from LightSquared, which plans to offer wholesale wireless service to consumer electronics companies and other telecommunications operators.