Cingular Buys NextWave Spectrum

As we predicted back in May, it appears that Cingular is now buying some spectrum from NextWave. The plan is for Cingular and parent BellSouth to pay $1.4 billion for about 20% of NextWave’s licenses, in order to cover gaps in their wireless coverage, allowing them to get out from under the thumb of some of their competitors, whose networks they use in some major markets. Of course, any such deal would need to be approved by bankruptcy court and the FCC. Could it be that NextWave’s spectrum, tied up in court for so many years might actually get used? The article also reports that this may open up the gates to let Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless buy some of the spectrum as well. Verizon and AT&T, of course, had bought the same spectrum from the FCC during the years when the FCC thought they could take back the airwaves from a bankrupt NextWave.

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