Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire all the equity of NextWave for approximately $25 million plus a contingent payment of up to approximately $25 million. Additionally, AT&T and NextWave’s debtholders forged a separate agreement in which all of the company’s outstanding debt will be acquired by AT&T or retired by NextWave, for a total of $600 million in cash.
The purchase could give AT&T stronger footing in the wireless broadband spectrum since NextWave holds licenses in the Wireless Communication Services (WCS) and Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) bands. However, those channels are located close to frequencies that are used for satellite communications, so in order for AT&T to use those channels, the FCC must first bestow its permission.
Earlier this summer, AT&T and Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) submitted a joint proposal to the FCC that could result in updates to the current regulations, but the FCC has not yet rendered a verdict on the matter.