It's finally over.
Arguably the longest running soap-opera drama in the wireless industry has announced its final episode: Verizon Wireless
NextWave earned the ire of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and many in the industry for bidding billions during wireless spectrum auctions in 1996 and then filing bankruptcy. Many of the airwave licenses have been in limbo ever since as lawsuits embroiled the company and pitted government agencies against each other.
As a regulator, the FCC attempted to recall the licenses granted to NextWave when they filed bankruptcy and payments stopped. But the bankruptcy court denied access to the assets of the company, since they were under the protection of bankruptcy law. NextWave and the FCC finally agreed to a settlement in April, only after the Supreme Court weighed in on the issue in 2003 and sided with NextWave.
As part of the deal, Verizon will get cherished spectrum in the 1.9GHz band in highly desirable markets such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
Verizon will put the new bandwidth to work providing capacity for its new broadband wireless service built on Qualcomm
The deal comes on the heels of another significant deal for Verizon -- the settlement of its lawsuit with Nextel Communications
Nextel agreed to relinquish its trademarks so Verizon could market its competing service unfettered. And guess what Nextel got in return? Verizon agreed to stop pursing spectrum in the 1.9GHz band that the FCC wanted to give to Nextel. Verizon has argued for the rights to bid on the spectrum, offering at least $5.0 billion. Together, the two deals make it an "everyone wins" situation, so now everybody is just chummy.
Wow. We have an uncontested president, and years of mess equating to hundreds of millions of dollars in legal and related costs are now put to rest. Wireless investors are happy campers until the next problem comes along.
Fool contributor Dave Mock never understood the attraction to soap operas -- or reality TV for that matter. He owns no shares of any company mentioned in this article. Cheesy disclaimer -- done.