Broadband Briefs for 11/30/09
• Clearwire solidifies financial position
By Brian Santo
Clearwire has created a subsidiary to sell an additional $920 million in notes. The debt financing through the Clearwire Escrow Corp. will be on top of the promises of $1.56 billion in funding the company recently secured from investors.
“Today, we are proud to have secured an additional $920 million in debt financing, which, when coupled with the $1.56 billion of recently announced equity financing and the $1.85 billion of debt financing that we closed on today, demonstrates our ability to access the capital markets on attractive terms and in sufficient size to meet our needs, while at the same time prudently balancing equity dilution with the cost of capital,” said Bill Morrow, CEO of Clearwire.
“With this latest tranche of additional funding, we have not only exceeded the amount of capital that we have previously stated we needed to fully fund our business plan, but we have also secured additional capital that will allow us to expand more aggressively by covering more people, and with more capacity than we had previously planned.”
• Ericsson to buy Nortel business for $70M
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – LM Ericsson of Sweden said last week that it plans to buy Nortel Networks’ North American GSM business for $70 million in cash. Ericsson said it made its bid for Nortel's GSM assets with Kapsch CarrierCom of Austria. As part of the deal, Ericsson is acquiring assets of Nortel's GSM business in North America, while Kapsch is paying $33 million to buy most of the remaining assets outside of North America.
Telecommunications equipment maker Nortel, which is under bankruptcy protection, has already sold the majority of its wireless network business  to Ericsson for $1.13 billion. That deal covered the older CDMA and newer LTE wireless businesses of Nortel's Carrier Networks unit.
CDMA, or code division multiple access, is a rival standard to the dominant GSM, or global system for mobile. LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is a next-generation wireless network technology that promises to be much faster. In the U.S., GSM is used by AT&T, among other wireless carriers.
• CSG elects Reed chairman, deals with Dish
By The Associated Press
CSG Systems International Inc. said Tuesday that board member Don Reed has been elected chairman, a position he will assume Jan. 1 as part of the company's policy to rotate key board positions.
The company, which sells billing and customer relationship services, said the current chairman, Bernie Reznicek, will remain on the board.
CSG Systems has also entered into a new multi-year agreement for Dish Network’s nearly 14 million customers that includes a three-year commitment for customer care and billing services through 2012, as well as a five-year commitment for print and mail services through 2014. The agreement also includes an option to extend these services through 2015.
– CED’s Traci Patterson contributed to this report