NextWave offers an alternative for those who lost out in FCC auction

25 Apr 2008

Prompted by the large sums raised by the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 700MHz auction, San Diego-based wireless technology company NextWave plans to sell on a number of its own wireless licences. It is offering 223 licences from three blocks of spectrum: the Advanced Wireless Service licence in the 1.7GHz and 2.1GHz bands, the Wireless Communication Service licence in the 2.3GHz band, and Education Broadband Service and Broadband Radio Service licences in the 2.5GHz band. The three blocks of spectrum pieced together can cover 84% of the US.

The FCC’s latest auction raised more than USD19 billion, but was primarily dominated by Verizon Wireless which paid USD9.36 billion for a nationwide block, plus 102 licences for individual markets across the country. A combination of existing wireless players and new entrants have expressed interest in NextWave’s licences and the company expects the process to be concluded in July. The operator paid USD500 million to acquire the spectrum rights several years ago but has not revealed what it believes it to be worth now. The higher band spectrum on offer is likely to raise more as carriers plan for 4G networks. However, NextWave CFO Mr Alex said the company will only sell the spectrum if it receives a sensible offer.

United States