Nucentrix Broadband Networks

There's the Nucentrix Broadband Networks of today, and then there's the Nucentrix Broadband Networks of the future.

Theres the Nucentrix Broadband Networks of today, and then theres the Nucentrix Broadband Networks of the future.

"We are basically two companies, new and old," says Carroll D. McHenry, chairman and CEO.

"Old" is Heartland Cable Television, which provides subscription wireless TV to 58 small and midsize markets in the central U.S. The "new" Nucentrix wants to sell wireless broadband in those midsize markets. Doing so has been a slower process than McHenry would like.

The company holds licenses for, or leases, the Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service and Instructional Television Fixed Service spectrums in the 2.1-gigahertz and 2.5-GHz to 2.7-GHz ranges in 93 markets, covering about 9 million households.

Nucentrix launched its fixed wireless for small and midsized businesses and teleworkers in Sherman-Denison, Texas, and Austin, Texas, in 1999.

Residential marketing must wait until equipment prices fall, however. McHenry hopes prices will decline when the bigger players in the under-10-GHz space begin buying a lot of wireless modems and customer premises equipment. Together, WorldCom and Sprint own MMDS spectrum covering 60 million homes. McHenry is also waiting for Federal Communications Commission approval of Nucentrixs two-way digital operating authority application.

Still, McHenry remains upbeat. "We have cash in the bank and are ready to go, as soon as the stars align," he says.