AT&T Gobbles Up Nextwave Wireless For $600 Million
In The Process Getting Huge Stable of WCS Spectrum
AT&T today announced
that the company has acquired Nextwave Wireless -- and the company's ample stable of Wireless Communication Service (WCS) 2.3 GHz spectrum -- in a deal worth $600 million. Those licenses could potentially cover over 210 million subscribers. AT&T is also gobbling up Nextwave's Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses, which should cover about 60 million additional users.
As we recently noted
, both AT&T and Sirius XM have filed a request with the FCC that they be allowed to use WCS spectrum for wireless broadband services. AT&T has held WCS spectrum since 1997, but for years has been unable to use it due to potential interference problems with Sirius XM Radios satellite broadcast signals.
The recent proposal with Sirius XM solved some of the problems by creating so-called "guard bands" that would protect Sirius XM from LTE interference. Unfortunately for AT&T, Nextwave owned a lot of the C and D Block spectrum necessary to make the plan work. $600 million later and AT&T has their solution by doing what AT&T is best at: acquisition.
WCS spectrum can be somewhat finnicky, particularly with building penetration and indoor coverage. However, AT&T might be interested in some kind of fixed wireless play -- using fixed roof antennas like Verizon's Home Fusion
. Both Verizon and AT&T are shifting away from fixed broadband (particularly DSL), replacing many of those lines with more profitable (and metered) wireless services.
Apparently, AT&T is very confident the FCC is going to open up the Wireless Communication Services band for LTE use.
Re: This is a good thing
said by iansltx:Everyone including AT&T has been sitting on their WCS spectrum because of the interference with SDARS (Sirius XM) concerns.
NextWave was sitting on its spectrum, waiting for a buyer. So even if it's AT&T who's buying, there is some benefit there.
Re: This is a good thing NextWave also had AWS in some places. That's more of what I was referring to.
Re: This is a good thing
said by BiggA:That's it, give up using the unpaired C and D blocks so that the paired (5 MHz + 5 MHz each) A and B blocks can be used. AT&T is also asking the FCC to consider giving them permission to use the WCS spectrum just as downlink spectrum while using something else (perhaps Lightsquared spectrum) for the uplink. Uplink spectrum is generally less of an interference concern.
It looks like they're trying to get it up to full power by giving the satellite radio guys 5mhz on either side of their band.
Homefusion? What, aws+edge??
nextwave isnt this the same nextwave the bid on all the pcs spectrum went bankruptcy, got to keep the spectrum sold a chunk to verizon.
what a joke
Colorado Springs, CO
Worthless for most buildings The spectrum is pretty worthless in cities though. 700mhz is prime for building penetration, but these PCS bands in the Ghz are only good in tower dense deployments.
Ski News - Ski Colorado Blog
Web Hosting - www.FrontRangeHosting.com
Re: Worthless for most buildings This is what that spectrum is intended for, and is best used for
rural or semi rural point to point (ie fixed wireless) outdoor to outdoor shielded antenna (like the verizon the shielding/container keeps water /leaves/snow/etc off the face of a mini dish or flat panel radiator (water and water containing substances are the weakness of these microwave freq's. exact like satellite broadband but nearby (up to 40 miles line of site, less is even better) avoids 90%+ of the problems, without launching a multi billion $ bird.
Treated like cell service this could reach (most) house from strand or power pole mounted "cells" allow almost infinate micro cells.
homes over the hill /way out of sight of powerlines MIGHT need a relay or a differnt solution but MANY could see fast LTE speeds very quickly AT A HIGHER PRICE than city service.
an OK FTTP solution. and way better than letting Nextwave squat on the spectrum.