Feeds

Nextel vexes Verizon with $5bn spectrum swap

Safety first

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

In what the FCC chairman Michael Powell described as "the most difficult, complex and challenging issue" he's faced since taking the job seven years ago, Nextel has agreed to relocate its service onto new spectrum. The issue of interference in Nextel's 800 MHz band has alarmed the emergency services for several years. But the deal with the FCC hasn't come cheap, nor without continuing rancor.

Nextel will pay the government $4.8bn for two blocks of spectrum in the 1.9Ghz range, the FCC announced yesterday. Nextel is selling and releasing some of its 800MHz spectrum and all of its 700 MHz spectrum, which interfered with radio signals used by the police and emergency services. Nextel will receive $1.6bn for the spectrum it is returning. The deal is complicated by what the FCC calls an an "anti windfall tax" to ensure Nextel complies without lining its own pockets.

The agreement was criticized by telco trade body the CTIA, which argued that the 1.9Ghz spectrum should instead have been auctioned. Verizon wanted this most badly, and has been leading the charge. Without naming names, FCC chairman Powell referred to "some of the most ruthless lobbying I have ever encountered".

Verizon is now expected to invite Nextel to step outside - and into a courtroom, to resolve the case.

With a glimpse of what squabbles we could expect from a deregulated spectrum regime, the FCC noted that "reliance on voluntary measures alone" had proved insufficient. ®

Related stories

Famous American launches 4G - but this time, is anyone listening?
Are you a winner in the T-Mobile, Cingular spectrum swap?
Broadband gets FCC chairman hot
US punters face higher phone charges

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.