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Impact of Sprint/Nextel Merger on 2 GHz BAS Transition Unknown

Users of the 2 GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) band who have attended meetings with Nextel--regarding reimbursement for the cost of vacating the lower two channels of the band--may wonder how the possible Sprint/Nextel merger (see Washington Post Article: Nextel, Sprint Close to Merger would affect existing agreements. Both companies have said little about the details of the reported merger. Most stories about the merger focused on where the headquarters would be located and whether the combined company would use the CDMA and EV-DO high speed data wireless technology Sprint has been rolling out or the new Flash-OFDM technology from Flarion.

An article on CMP's TechWeb by W. David Gardner, Rumored Nextel, Sprint Merger Raises Unique Issues included comments from CMDA advocate Joe Nordgaard, managing director of Spectral Advantage. The article said Nordgaard argued that the "FCC's recent awarding of 10 MHz in 1.9 GHz spectrum would dovetail nicely with Sprint's EV-DO plans."

The Inquirer took a different view. In the article Sprint-Nextel merger is a total technology mismatch, author Tony Dennis said he was convinced that Nextel will go with the Flarion Flash-OFDM technology. He argued that the merger talk could be a ploy by Sprint to trigger Verizon into buying it. Like Sprint, Verizon uses CDMA and has already rolled out high speed EV-DO Internet service in many cities in the U.S.
As more details on the potential merger and the impact on the 2 GHz BAS transition emerge, look for them in RF Report.