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May 30, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:07pm

NEXTWAVE LAYS OFF 40 AS IT STRUGGLES WITH FCC LICENSING FEES

By CBR Staff Writer

Trouble with auctions is, you twitch your nose or scratch your head in the wrong place and end up paying far more than you ever dreamed for something you only think you want and almost certainly can’t afford, and the US Federal Communications Commissions Personal Communications Services auctions appear to be no exception. Following the bankruptcy filing by the number two bidder for airwave licenses, Pocket Communications Inc last month (CI No 3,134), NextWave Telecommunications Inc, the number one bidder, has just restructured and laid off about 40 Southern Californian employees. The company ended up bidding more than $4.7bn for licenses to offer Personal Communications Services networks in more than 90 US cities, but has since had major problems trying to foot the bill. In spite of securing investment from MCI Communications Corp last summer, NextWave still needs to raise millions of dollars to pay for the licenses and also to actually build the network. It claims the Federal commission’s ‘unfavorable financial and regulatory conditions’ have caused its troubles. In January, the commission said it had to dilute foreign interest in the company to comply with regulations, though last month the Commission relented.

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