Cingular May Buy Some NextWave Spectrum

Ever since Nextwave won back their spectrum from an ill-conceived FCC repossession, there have been lots of rumors about how they plan on using it. They’re sitting on a valuable resource, and every company in the industry want to ‘help’ them take advantage of it…”using our technology, of course”. Meanwhile, NextWave appears to be sticking to its plan to become a carrier’s carrier, installing a high-speed 3G data network and providing the underlying data services that other carriers would re-sell to their customers. How to fund the massive national network build-out? Sell a 20% slice of your bandwidth, as a news story today suggests they may do with Cingular for $1.5B. This makes sense for both parties, since Cingular is tighter for spectrum than other carriers. However, I was under the impression that one of the requirements of NextWave’s repossession of the airwaves was that they actually use them, and do not just sell them for cash. Anyone?

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