informa
/
1 MIN READ
Commentary

NextWave Scoops Up IPWireless For $100 Million

NextWave Wireless, which was in bankruptcy protection only a few years ago, recently scored $355 million in new funding despite showing a $105 million loss for its 2006 fiscal year. Burning a hole in its pocket, NextWave couldn't help but run out and buy a compa
NextWave Wireless, which was in bankruptcy protection only a few years ago, recently scored $355 million in new funding despite showing a $105 million loss for its 2006 fiscal year. Burning a hole in its pocket, NextWave couldn't help but run out and buy a company with some of that venture booty.IPWireless is selling itself to NextWave for $100 million in cash and stock. IPWireless supplies TD-CDMA network equipment and worked to develop the 3GPP TDD UMTS standards, on which it bases its mobile TV offerings. TD-CDMA is sort of the Frankenchild of wireless technology. Thought it's great for data networks, the world seems to have settled on WCDMA technology, which is good for voice and data. For NextWave, the purchase is said to help shore up technology it didn't want to develop on its own, such as IPWireless's mobile TV and public safety know-how.

NextWave Wireless nearly folded about 8 or 9 years ago when it couldn't pay for its spectrum holdings. It entered bankruptcy in 1998 and only returned from the edge in 2005 with a new name and a new focus. The company was forced to sell its spectrum to Verizon Wireless as part of its bankruptcy settlements, but last year purchased more during the AWS auction held by the FCC. Since it relaunched itself two years ago, it has focused on providing mobile broadband products and has made several other purchases, such as Go Networks.

It hasn't been entirely successful. NextWave only generated $24.3 million in revenue for 2006. This is despite the fact that the company holds about $900 million in assets, half of which in spectrum holdings.

Perhaps NextWave and IPWireless can combine their offerings in a way that will make their services to more attractive to potential customers.

Editor's Choice
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Astrid Gobardhan, Data Privacy Officer, VFS Global
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing