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Cingular Completes Acquisition Of NextWave Licenses

Cingular Wireless on Friday said it had closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of 34 PCS licenses from NextWave Telecom Inc.

The licenses for digital cellular transmission that competes with analog and digital services in the 800MHz and 900MHz bands cover about 83 million potential customers for Cingular. The covered spectrum is primarily in markets where the wireless carrier has voice and data operations.

"This spectrum will greatly benefit our customers, allowing us to deliver additional products and services, expand coverage in key markets and better accommodate overall future growth," Ralph de la Vega, chief operating officer for Cingular, said in a statement.

Under the deal, Cingular paid $1.4 billion in cash, and obtained FCC licenses to operate personal communications services (PCS) in the markets covered by the licenses. The markets are spread throughout the company, from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Boston and Washington, D.C.

All claims of the FCC and third parties related to the licenses have been satisfied, including $714 million owed by NextWave to the FCC. The money was paid directly to the FCC out of the $1.4 billion total, Cingular said.

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