Nextel’s spectrum quandary

Nextel has had a dream run so far – sales are up, subscribers have been lining up and even its broadband plans are coming together nicely. And for a while it seemed that Nextel would get the much needed spectrum swap and boost the QoS of its network and cut down on the pesky interference problems. Well, if it is too good to be true, then it normally is!

FCC Chairman Michael Powell late last week withdrew his support for Nextel Communications’ plan to relocate spectrum in the 1.9GHz band. Powell retracted the vote he made in March supporting Nextel’s public safety spectrum swap proposal, called the Consensus Plan. Nextel has proposed giving up some of its spectrum in exchange for a swath of airwaves currently used by municipal services — such as fire departments, police, and emergency medical services — in the 800 MHz band. The carrier’s proposal would shuffle spectrum to eliminate the interference problem. (Source: Fierce Wireless newsletter.)

Verizon Wireless, had vehemently argued against the plan, claiming that Nextel would be given access to valuable spectrum without having to pay a fair rate for it, according to Fierce Wireless newsletter.