Nextel spectrum swap - update

25 Jun 2004

Nextel is reported by the Financial Times to have won an important victory in its plan to swap frequency in the 800Mhz band for that in the 1.9Ghz range. According to the UK broadsheet, chairman of the FCC Michael Powell has approved Nextel’s proposal to swap frequencies, although fears of legal challenges by rival wireless companies have tempered the victory. Under Nextel’s so-called ‘Consensus Plan’ it proposed paying UD850 million towards the cost of reorganising spectrum allocation for the emergency services and a further USD512 million to move some users in the 1.9GHz band. Mr Powell is believed to have settled on a deal which will give Nextel the 10MHz of spectrum in the 1.9GHz band that it wants, but would involve a contribution of USD1.5 billion in cash towards reorganisation costs.