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Bedminster, N.J.-based mobile phone company Verizon Wireless agreed Friday to buy PCS spectrum licenses in 23 U.S. markets from bankrupt wireless company NextWave Telecommunications Inc. for $3 billion. Verizon Wireless, which is jointly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group plc of Britain, said in a statement it will buy the licenses through the purchase of NextWave Telecom, after the completion of the company’s reorganization plan. The deal is expected to close by the middle of next year. It is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the Federal Communications Commission and antitrust regulators. After the reorganization plan is completed, NextWave Telecom will have no other assets than the licenses, which comprise 20-MHz licenses in New York, Boston, Washington and Baltimore and 10-MHz licenses in 19 other cities. Verizon Wireless said the new licenses will ensure it has long-term capacity in its system to meeting the growing demand for wireless voice and data services. It plans to finance the acquisition through cash flow and inter-company loans. Hawthorne, N.Y.-based NextWave said last month it had decided how it wants to reorganize itself and asked the Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., for more time to file its plan. Copyright �2004 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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