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Sprint-Nextel: Owes Nothing for Rebanding

Sprint-Nextel executives believe that the company will not owe the federal government any money once the mandated 800 MHz rebanding project is finished, as reported in the company’s latest financial filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In 2002 the FCC ordered the company to pay the cost of re-tuning public safety and other radio systems to reduce interference with public safety 800 MHz systems. Under the FCC’s deal with the company, Sprint-Nextel will receive credit for the costs of re-tuning and the value of certain 700 MHz and 800 MHz spectrum it turned back to the FCC. Those credits would be balanced by the value of a 1.9 GHz allocation given to Sprint-Nextel, with the company owing the FCC money if the credits were less than the value of the 1.9 GHz spectrum. But Sprint-Nextel estimates its final re-tuning costs at from $3.2 billion to $3.6 billion, and the value of the 700/800 MHz spectrum at $2.1 billion. Since the value of the 1.9 GHz allocation is about $4.9 billion, the company says, it will owe nothing. Download (pdf) the pertinent pages of the company’s financial filing here.

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