Formed by the $3.4 billion merger of Concentric Network and Nextlink Communications, XO Communications is building a local and long-distance network, plus copper and fixed wireless in the local loop.
The XO business model, as envisioned by CEO Dan Akerson: Build and operate your own network — 60 metro markets plus 24 fibers on Level 3 Communications 16,000-mile backbone. Sell businesses a predictable, fixed-price set of voice and data offerings, and cut the regional Bells out entirely.
From Nextlink, XO inherited more fixed wireless spectrum than any provider in North America, covering 95 percent of the population in the top 30 markets.
Fixed wireless may play a key role in the companys survival. Its wireless holdings are in the Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) spectrum — a high-frequency service whose short 2.5-mile reach is more than made up for by enormous bandwidth.
When LMDS players Advanced Radio Telecom and Winstar Communications filed for bankruptcy, Wall Street turned on XO. Yet, the company could have the enterprise market all to itself.