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IPWireless goes it alone

NextWave says ciao, customer coughs up

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NextWave has succeeded at last in offloading mobile TV developer IPWireless, which it picked up 18 months ago for $100m.

Having announced it was getting out of the network infrastructure business last year, NextWave has managed to get $1m out of the IPWireless management for 75 per cent of the company. Dr William Jones continues to run IPWireless, but steps down from the various positions he held at NextWave.

The IPWireless management will also have to stump up for the transaction costs of up to half a million dollars, but apparently a customer has stepped in to provide long-term funding to the company that has successfully demonstrated squeezing broadcast television into unused Time-Division-Duplexed 3G channels in the UK and elsewhere.

IPWireless has some impressive technology, for broadcasting TV signals to mobile kit, but the business model for such broadcasts is still very uncertain, and getting enough viewers to pay for the infrastructure needed won't be easy regardless of the wow factor.

Still, clearly someone thinks there's money to be made providing telly on the move, and no doubt we'll soon learn who exactly is funding IPWireless and when (and where) they're planning to deploy the technology. ®

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