Nextel acquisition of 900MHz SMR spectrum.

Nextel is gobbling up more and more SMR spectrum–last month 900 MHz SMR channels for a quarter billion from Arch Wireless. Paging networks are so overburdened and slow. What are needed are many data channels at a site, just like cellular e.g. Nextel has. Nextel’s handsets don’t have 900 MHz, but I’m sure they have some play up their sleeve. The November 2000 addition of 5 MHz in 800 MHz SMR for commercial use will lead to future such transactions. Boy are we glad to have our numerous 800 MHz SMR channels across the state fully built out and operational!

Since last year we’ve been able to place market trades from Nextel plus phones, and browse various specially prepared phone websites. Now this month we have the i2000plus world phone iDEN/GSM. Not many people here need such a phone as they still struggle with roaming vs. one network for Nextel. I have been using the i550plus since at $100 it has much more than competitive providers phones. I can stay a step ahead with the phone packet Internet connection, I don’t need to drag out my laptop to send a quick message.

We get new inroads from companies that try cellular for their employees, but get issues with employees on the phone to family and friends. Bigger businesses lose track of who’s calling who, particular when the family/friend also has a cell phone. Some companies will call suspicious numbers but the savvy ones don’t let on that it’s their employee’s mom.

Thus they end up wanting to have two-way radio (not even Nextel) since we can provide regional in-state coverage without the risk of chit-chat. LTR on 800 MHz was very good to us, but we have been acquiring 450 MHz channels for LTR trunking. There has been some big issues however with the 12.5 kHz channels vs. 25 kHz 800 MHz channels. Interference, lack of sensitivity (poor coverage) and the like. More market opportunities for me!

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