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Sprint Nextel To Acquire Two 'Affiliate' Operators

Sprint Nextel said Tuesday it has plans to acquire to so-called affiliate cellular operators.

Specifically, the wireless operator said it planned to acquire Gulf Coast Wireless and IWO Holdings. Both companies. It said it will pay about $287.5 million for Gulf Coast Wireless, which has 95,000 subscribers in Louisiana and Mississippi. It will pay $427 million for IWO Holdings, which has 237,000 subscribers in upstate New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

All those subscribers will become direct subscribers to Sprint Nextel. As affiliates, the vendors provide Sprint service, but under their own brand.

Sprint Nextel said it expected the deals to close by the end of the year.