Nextel Spectrum Swap OKd by Government

By Shelley Solheim  |  Posted 2004-11-15

The U.S. Government Accountability Office last week cleared the way for the Federal Communications Commission to move Nextel Communications out of the 800MHz spectrum, where it interferes with police and fire department radio signals, and into a higher-frequency band.

The FCC in July announced plans to move Nextel from the 800MHz spectrum it shares with emergency responders to the 1.9GHz band. If the FCCs plan is implemented, the move will let Nextel offer expanded voice and data services, including high-speed Internet.

In other spectrum news this month, Verizon Wireless announced it will buy all NextWave Telecoms PCS spectrum licenses for $3 billion. Verizon will buy the licenses after NextWave completes its bankruptcy reorganization. The deal, expected to close in mid-2005, pending regulatory approval, will give Verizon 10MHz and 20MHz licenses in the 1.9GHz PCS frequency range in some 23 cities across the country.

The spectrum will let Verizon expand its network capacity in major metropolitan areas.

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