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Press Release: Lightyear Network Solutions Launches New Mobile Phone Agreement with Sprint

June 8, 2011

[June 9]  Another update:  Channel Partners (C.P.) magazine weighed in today with some intriguing comments.  Of LightYear’s announcement that it has a new 5-year MVNO agreement with Sprint, the magazine said:

The contract updates an unprecedented 2009 agreement between the two companies wherein Sprint joined Lightyear in committing resources, including cash, expertise, and facilities to supporting the Lightyear sales channels, which include a network marketing arm serving residential and an agent network serving businesses.  The amendment impacts only the wireless portions of the contract.”

C.P. is the only news source so far to specifically mention LightYear’s network marketing sales force.  C.P. also accurately identified the difference between the previous 2009 Sprint-LightYear agreement, linked above, and the new 2011 relationship:

“Under the new deal, Lightyear will offer postpaid and prepaid mobile telephone service over the nationwide Sprint network. And, different from the previous wireless agreement, it gives Lightyear access to more current Sprint wireless devices and the ability to develop a wider range of wireless products, including offerings for business, said Brian Garrison, Lightyear’s vice president strategic planning and marketing.”

The key distinction is access to the latest-and-greatest Sprint devices, which is an industry first and an earth shaking shift that tilts the balance between contract and prepaid companies.  Does this move by Sprint pretty much force the hand of the other big companies to provide prepaid access to their entire phone selections?  YES, without a doubt.  In the “LY Intro” of this blog, I get into more detail about this industry-altering shift.

C.P.’s story names Lightyear Network Solutions a “CLEC”:  “In a press statement, the company added that the deal further would enable the CLEC to offer bundled wireline/wireless services and new solutions such as fixed mobile convergence,” and references the original Verizon deal that launched the Lightyear Wireless business:  “Lightyear launched Lightyear Wireless as a result of a July 2008 agreement with Verizon Wireless.  That direct agreement with Verizon is no longer in force, Garrison said.”


[June 8]  This is an update to the press release I posted below, earlier this morning:  The KC Star is the first to provide commentary on this press release.  I had to include their words.  Their “reseller” label in the headline isn’t the correct label, but they use “reseller” and “wholesaler” interchangeably, which is confusing but so be it.  And I think the “purchasing Sprint service through a wholesaler” should say “purchasing Sprint FONES through a wholesaler,” but again, we’ll live.  (This Sep. 3, 2009 announcement about LightYear’s original wholesaler agreement states that “Sprint Wholesale Solutions … and Lightyear Network Solutions LLC, a reseller and VoIP carrier, signed a new wholesale agreement Tuesday that the companies say redefines the traditional wholesale telecom model.”  There’s no mention of a middleman for service in that article.  LightYear was definitely getting fones thru alternative, limited sources – glad that’s over!)
JC


http://sprintconnection.kansascity.com/?q=node/1805

Sprint inks deal with reseller Lightyear
Submitted by Scott Canon on June 8, 2011 – 7:55am.

“Sprint has cut a five-year deal with Lightyear Network Solutions, which will resell Sprint service under the Lightyear brand.

“Lightyear has been purchasing Sprint service through a wholesaler for about 18 months and selling the service to pre-paid customers under the Lightyear banner.

The new deal cuts out the middle man and allows Lightyear to buy directly from Sprint.  Lightyear chief executive Stephen Lochmueller said it also means the company will get access to a wider array of Sprint phones, including smartphones running on Google’s popular Android operating system.  Lochmueller said the deal will also set up Lightyear to sell post-paid service, the more traditional two-year contracts for wireless service on Sprint’s network.”


Here are some of the other sites that ran the press release so far (this is HUGE news):


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Lightyear-Network-Solutions-bw-640637709.html?x=0&.v=1

Lightyear Network Solutions Launches New Mobile Phone Agreement with Sprint
— MVNO Agreement Expected to Contribute to Growth in Wireless Business —

Companies:  Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc.

Press Release
Source:  Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc.
Wednesday June 8, 2011, 7:30 am EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc. (OTCBB:LYNS.obNews), a provider of data, voice and wireless telecommunication services to business and residential customers throughout North America, today announced that it has launched its MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) operations under a new five-year agreement with Sprint.

The contract allows Lightyear to partner directly with Sprint on new wireless products, and provide postpaid and prepaid mobile telephone products and service utilizing the Nationwide Sprint Network. The agreement provides numerous benefits for Lightyear, including a larger and improved selection of the newest Sprint wireless devices, quicker access to those products, greater flexibility regarding product and service offerings for Lightyear customers, and the ability to offer bundled Lightyear wireline and wireless products.

The MVNO agreement enables Lightyear to offer an enhanced suite of wireless products, while lowering its costs. Lightyear’s sales force will immediately begin offering these enhanced services under the MVNO agreement to its more than 60,000 customers.

Lightyear recently initiated a marketing program to increase its commercial business activities, and this agreement with Sprint will enable the company to expand its efforts with new and existing business customers, including the availability to offer new solutions such as fixed mobile convergence. The agreement will also provide benefits to residential customers who will have access to a broader selection of wireless handsets, including a number of phones with the increasingly popular Android operating system.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of our MVNO with Sprint, which has been a valuable Lightyear provider partner for a number of years,” said Stephen M. Lochmueller, Chief Executive Officer of Lightyear. “This MVNO agreement will contribute to our long-term strategy to increase our organic growth. We expect our wireless business to contribute to our growth and profitability in 2011, with increasing benefits in future years.”

About Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc.
Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Lightyear Network Solutions provides telecommunication services to large, medium and small businesses and to residential consumers throughout North America. Lightyear’s product offerings include local PRI and digital T1, enhanced Internet services, MPLS, Ethernet, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), local and long distance service, and conferencing. Lightyear also offers wireless services to customers in the U.S. through wholesale contracts with multiple wireless providers. Lightyear built its own VoIP network in 2004 to enhance its product offerings and has partnered with some of the most prominent names in telecom including: Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Level 3, PAETEC, CenturyLink, XO Communications, Intelliverse, BroadSoft, Cisco and ADTRAN. Lightyear Network Solutions is headquartered in Louisville, Ky. Additional information can be found at: www.lightyear.net.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “safe harbor” provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Rule 3b-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause Lightyear’s actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. These forward-looking statements may include, without limitation, statements about our marketing and acquisition opportunities, business strategies, competition, expected activities and expenditures as we pursue our business plan. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are reasonable, the risks and uncertainties which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated includes changes in market conditions, our ability to integrate acquired operations, the ability to obtain additional financing on satisfactory terms, customer acceptance of products, regulatory issues, competitive factors, or other business circumstances and risk factors described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lightyear undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this press release.


Contact:
Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc.
Steve Rush, Marketing Manager, 502-410-1397
steve.rush@lightyear.net
or
Porter, LeVay & Rose, Inc.
Marlon Nurse, D.M., V.P. – Investor Relations, 212-564-4700
marlon@plrinvest.com

BusinessWeek.com 

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