NextWave Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Bloomberg News

NextWave Telecom Inc., the largest winner of a government auction for next-generation cellular phone licenses, has notified the Federal Communications Commission that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move by San Diego-based NextWave comes as the company and other license-holders are having trouble raising money to pay the government for the licenses and to build their networks. In March, the FCC gave license winners new debt-payment options, which the companies said were inadequate. FCC Chairman William Kennard complained that license holders were trying to get better financial terms from the courts. NextWave did not return repeated telephone calls seeking comment. The company won 56 wireless communications licenses for $4.2 billion at an auction two years ago designed for small companies, and also several more licenses in subsequent auctions for a total of about $4.3 billion.

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