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Managing Editor

Air wars

Apr 15, 20042 mins
Cellular NetworksNetwork Security

* Verizon Wireless looks to thwart Nextel spectrum bid

Verizon Wireless is opening the bidding for 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1.9-GHz band at $5 billion, a move that attempts to thwart Nextel’s purchase of the airwaves to alleviate interference problems.

In a letter to the FCC, Verizon Wireless said it would offer $5 billion for the spectrum if the regulator opened it up for bid. Nextel offered $850 million for it so it could move communications out of the 800-MHz band where it collides with the communications of public safety organizations.

The 10-MHz spectrum in the 1.9-GHz band is coveted by Nextel rivals, however, one of which is Verizon Wireless, which argues that not opening the spectrum for bid would “violate FCC rules, federal law and more than a decade of U.S. spectrum policy.

“Law enforcement and others have long noted that Nextel’s interference with public safety channels can be resolved within the 800-MHz band, without grabbing at valuable spectrum that should be put to best public use in an auction,” the carrier said in a statement.

Nextel says it will fix the interference problems with police and fire communications in the 800-MHz band in exchange for the 100-MHz spectrum in the 1.9-GHz band.

This isn’t the first scrape between Nextel and Verizon Wireless. Nextel sued Verizon Wireless for its push-to-talk service advertising campaign.

CORRECTION: In the newsletter entitled “Scandal Sheet,” the statement “allegedly bribing officials in as many as 23 countries” should have read “allegedly bribing officials after a review of operations in 23 countries.” Network World regrets the error.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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