Nextel spectrum saga continues


Nextel CEO Tim Donahue has started make polite noises about the spectrum swap. He pointed out that Nextel had some minor quibbles with FCC’s decision and those can be “fine-tuned” through an erratum.  Fine tuned means that FCC doesn’t have to go for lengthy public hearings and can keep pesky rivals such as Verizon Wireless from creating too much trouble. Donahue says Nextel is also looking for additional credit on the spectrum it is relinquishing and for the cost of adding base stations to maintain its network capacity during the swap process.  The company believes that the spectrum it is giving up is worth an additional $450M, given what it perceives to be its more precise POP measurements. 

“Applying the FCC’s valuation formula using Nextel’s current more granular spectrum totals and accurate population coverage yields an 800 MHz spectrum value credit of $2.059 billion—an increase of $452 million over the $1.607 billion credit set forth in the FCC’s rules,” according to a Nextel filing.

Well FCC has to agree with that in the end. With the spectrum swap and its ultra wide band wireless plans coming along nicely, Nextel looks like one of the better wireless plays despite the threat of litigation from the likes of VZ. Meanwhile the company is getting some serious heat from the likes of firefighters. “company’s foot dragging proves that “the so-called ‘consensus plan’ (pushed by Nextel) was never about helping first responders,” the First Response Coalition is urging fire chiefs across the U.S. to demand action now by Congress on the interoperability communications crisis,” said in a press release.

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