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Broadband Briefs for 7/24/08

Thu, 07/24/2008 - 8:00am

Juniper hires Microsoft vet as CEO
By Brian Santo

Juniper Networks has hired Microsoft veteran Kevin Johnson as CEO, effective in September, replacing Scott Kriens, who will continue to serve as chairman of Juniper’s board.

Johnson most recently was president of Microsoft’s Platforms and Services Division, an organization of more than 14,000 employees with responsibility for product development, marketing and strategy for the Windows and Online Services businesses. That division achieved record-breaking results with more than $20 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2008.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Johnson worked in IBM's systems integration and consulting business and started his career as a software developer.

Sprint sells wireless towers to raise cash
By Brian Santo

Sprint Nextel intends to sell approximately 3,300 wireless towers to TowerCo for approximately $670 million in cash. Sprint will lease access from TowerCo to support its CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX networks. The move appears to benefit Sprint by sloughing off the responsibility for tower maintenance, by getting those assets off its books and by raising needed cash.

“By leasing rather than owning these network facilities, we can better focus on our core business of providing communications services to consumers, businesses and government customers," said Bob Azzi, SVP of field engineering and operations for Sprint Nextel. "Significantly, this transaction provides Sprint Nextel with additional liquidity, which gives us greater flexibility in managing our company."

TowerCo said that the towers it is buying are concentrated in large metropolitan markets throughout the U.S.

Level 3 narrows its Q2 loss
By Brian Santo

Level 3 reported that its second-quarter revenue edged up a fraction, to $1.09 billion, but that it had a significantly smaller loss of $33 million. In the second quarter of 2007, the company made $1.05 billion but lost $202 million.

“Our strong second-quarter results reflect Core Network Services growth and our continued focus on reducing network costs and operating expenses," said James Crowe, president and CEO of Level 3. "We generated positive Free Cash Flow and now expect to be Free Cash Flow positive for the remainder of the year. And, as previously announced, we expect to be Free Cash Flow positive for the full-year 2009."

McDowell names Alexander as legal advisor for wireline
By Traci Patterson

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Robert M. McDowell announced today that Nick Alexander is joining his staff as the legal advisor for wireline issues. Alexander has worked at the Commission since 2005, most recently as the acting deputy chief of the Telecommunications Access Policy Division in the Wireline Competition Bureau.

“I’m very pleased to have Nick join us,” McDowell said. “He has a strong background in a myriad of wireline issues, including universal service, VoIP 911 and merger reviews. I have no doubt that he will hit the ground running.”

John Hunter, who has served as both the special counsel on wireline issues and as the chief of staff to Commissioner McDowell, will now serve as deputy chief of the Pricing Policy Division in the Wireline Competition Bureau.

NextWave selling 599M MHz-pops of AWS spectrum
By Traci Patterson

NextWave Wireless has signed agreements with four parties – reported to be T-Mobile, MetroPCS, ACS Wireless and Atlantic Wireless – to sell a portion of its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) license portfolio, which represents 63 percent of its total AWS MHz-pops, for $150.1 million.

Under the terms of the agreements, NextWave will sell 599 million MHz-pops of AWS spectrum, at an average price of 25 cents per MHz-pop. The company said that its cost basis in the licenses being sold is $75.2 million, or about 13 cents per MHz-pop. The deal is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

After the sale, the company said that it will own 348 million MHz-pops of AWS spectrum, primarily in New England, Florida and California. NextWave acquired all of its AWS licenses – for $115.5 million, or 12 cents per MHz-pop – in a 2006 FCC auction.

More Broadband Direct:

• Comcast gears up for converged services on TV, Internet, phones

• Buckeye signs up for iTV beta test with CMC's HITS AxIS

• Broadstripe Prez, CEO Shreffler to leave MSO

• UK ISPs knuckle under to Brit record companies

• Verizon inks more franchise agreements for FiOS service

• TWC names Welch to group VP, legislative affairs

• SCTE Foundation announces 6 grant winners in Q2

• Exfo launches more test modules for Ethernet validation, FC testing

• Broadband Briefs for 7/24/08

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