Feature Article

December 07, 2012

FiberTower Corp. Nears Shutdown

An attempt to sell bankrupt FiberTower Corp. fell through in early November 2012. As a result, Fiber Tower now says it will shut down a major part of its operations. That move might also be necessary, as the Federal Communications Commission has threatened to terminate its wireless licenses.

FiberTower has described itself as one of the largest alternative backhaul providers in the U.S., serving six of the top eight wireless carriers. Despite its name, the company has used its 24-GHz and 39-GHz bands to provide backhaul connections.

Its 39 GHz footprint covers 99 percent of the United States, while its 24 GHz covers the top 77 metro areas.

The company also has licenses for 11 GHz,  18 GHz and 23 GHz bands in suburban and rural markets.

The company owns average bandwidth per market of 650 MHz, including 740 MHz in top markets.

Without the licenses, the company "very likely will be forced to liquidate and cease all business operations," FiberTower said.

FiberTower filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2012, a move that allowed it to shed debt. Under the reorganization, $176 million in long-term debt was eliminated.  This follows a restructuring just over two years ago when they cut debt in half. 

Edited by Braden Becker

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