Who recognizes the name Nextel? And who thought they'd be in the news again anytime soon since Sprint bought the company, and adopted its namesake and added to its own, back in 2005? Probably not many of us. But here's the deal: the company is still in Sprint, but the 900 Mhz spectrum that it got in the acquisition is being sold back to the founders, Morgan O'Brien and Brian McAuley.
The co-founders of Nextel are going to receive the spectrum they initially had, and will hopefully be able to incorporate it into their current company, Pacific DataVision, and its spectrum. The addition of the 900 Mhz spectrum gives an additional 6 Mhz to Pacific DataVision, and that will apparently be used in a push-to-talk network connectivity. Also worth noting, is that the company will be hopefully utilizing and offering the 900 Mhz spectrum for push-to-talk aimed specifically at small- and medium-sized businesses initially, then moving to more 'critical response' type of groups in the company's second phase of their plan.
FirstNet, the First Responder Network Authority, which is run by the United States government has a similar goal. The organization is working to build a first-responder network in the 700 Mhz frequency, and it will supposedly be an LTE network. Pacific DataVision, however, looks to ideally create their two-way PTT network using LTE technology as well, though that hasn't been said or stated officially. The issue arises from the seemingly (and likely unavoidable) competition between the two groups.
States will, once the FirstNet is up and running, choose to either pay to access the network, or not and have to build their own public safety network, based in FirstNet's spectrum. Pacific DataVision looks to create something that isn't government-run, but the FCC still hasn't said whether the company will be allowed to roll out broadband at 900 Mhz. The sale, though, apparently consisted of $10 million in Pacific DataVision stock. Think this would be a good idea, a push-to-talk specifically aimed at private businesses and mission-critical groups? Let us know.