Carriers claim NextWave investments violate ownership rules
Alaska Native Wireless and VoiceStream Wireless have urged the FCC to deny bankrupt NextWave Telecom its wireless licenses, claiming that NextWave’s $2.8 billion in financial commitments violate ownership rules.
The carriers allege NextWave’s $2.5 billion in debt financing from UBS Warburg and $300 million investment from Qualcomm violate FCC ownership regulations for wireless licenses. In their petition, Alaska Native and VoiceStream said the agreement with Qualcomm could impair NextWave’s ability to proceed with decisions about building out its network, deploying services, and using the licenses.
This is not the first petition against NextWave the FCC has received. A previous petition questioned NextWave’s qualifications to own the licenses in the first place.
The FCC reclaimed NextWave’s licenses after it failed to pay for them on time. After reselling them, an appeals court decided that action was illegal. The FCC plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
NextWave currently is in the process of reorganizing under bankruptcy protection and intends to launch its network. It is expected to present its blueprint for emerging from bankruptcy protection before a federal court next month.
--Kelly Carroll, staff writer
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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