NextWave soliciting partnership


NextWave Telecom, the financially troubled wireless telecommunications company, is fielding offers from major mobile companies seeking a large stake in its disputed airwave licenses, The Washington Post reports.

NextWave is exploring deals that could include the sale of equity in the firm or the transfer of the rights to some of the company's airwaves in selected markets, chief executive Allen Salmasi told the Post. "We are talking to all of them. We would welcome the right long-term partner," the paper quotes Salmasi saying.

NextWave's nationwide slice of airwaves has gone unused since 1996, when the company bid $4.7 billion for them at a government auction. After making a $500 million down payment, NextWave failed to pay the rest of the money it owed. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 1998 and has been in litigation since.