XM Adds Spectrum

XM Satellite Radio has bought WCS Wireless for about
$200 million in stock to increase its bandwidth and coverage in major
cities.

WCS Wireless owns spectrum in 15 of the top 20 metropolitan markets in the
United States, an area containing 163 million people.

On average, the privately held firm’s licenses include 10 megahertz in the
frequency bands adjacent to XM’s satellite radio service.

“[The acquisition] provides XM an exceptional opportunity to expand its
existing business with a variety of multimedia subscription services,
including innovative video and data offerings, transmitted over these new
frequencies,” XM said in a statement.

Washington, D.C.-based XM, which has 4.4 million subscribers, competes
against Sirius Satellite Radio. XM said it would provide additional details
on plans for the new spectrum in the future.

Video and data offerings could expand the company’s revenue, but would also
lead it into competition with other competitors. The deal is expected to
close by year’s end, provided federal regulators sign off.

Both companies had received investment from Columbia Capital, a venture
capital investor focused on communications technologies and IT.

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