AT&T hoping to use NextWave's WCS and AWS spectrum licenses to increase its own 4G LTE coverage/capacity. If the FCC approves a June submission requesting approval to begin using WCS airwaves for mobile data, those holdings could become invaluable to AT&T. Previously, the FCC had concerns that using WCS spectrum for wireless broadband might interfere with satellite radio broadcasts in adjacent bands.
AT&T will pay $25m for NextWave’s equity, along with a contingent payment of around $25m; it will also settle or retire any outstanding NextWave debt, for a total of $600m in cash. Outstanding debt will be settled by a combination of cash or NextWave asset transfers.