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Nextel Raises Offer for Spectrum Swap

Nextel Communications has raised its offer to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from $500 million to $850 million in the company's effort to win FCC approval for a spectrum swap on the congested 800 MHz band.

The Reston, Va.-based Nextel is proposing that the FCC relocate incumbent public safety agencies and private wireless licensees in the 800 MHz to clear a 10MHz block of contiguous spectrum for Nextel at 1.9GHz. The Nextel funding would facilitate the relocation and re-tuning of the spectrum for the public safety agencies but is contingent upon the FCC licensing the contiguous space to Nextel.

Nextel's FCC details the timeline and mechanics of the proposed realignment process, specifically addressing the relocation and upgrading of incumbent licensees at 800 MHz, and the rights and obligations of licensees during and after the realignment.

The consensus parties to the deal, including more than 90 percent of the 800 MHz licensees affected by public safety interference, have addressed additional interference protections for licensees after the realignment process and how the plan would be implemented in the border areas adjacent to Canada and Mexico.

The upgrading would be completed over a 42-month period. The first nine months of the plan will be dedicated to frequency planning and data collection. The movement of the largest public safety systems that require a substantial portion of funding will occur in the final stages of the plan.