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Triad Communications & Wireless Companies

 
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Triad Cellular Corporation

Triad Cellular Corporation was formed in 1992 to acquire, develop and operate rural cellular telephone systems. From 1992 to 1997, the Company acquired 850 MHz A-band cellular licenses, constructed cellular systems and developed cellular operations in markets covering portions of rural Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and Minnesota. Operating under the Cellular One brand name, Triad built networks, opened sales offices, developed direct and indirect distribution channels, and established operations from scratch in the majority of these markets.

Triad's completed network covered 1 million people across 100,000 square miles, and provided superior quality wireless service to previously underserved communities and highway corridors.  In October 1997, Triad Cellular was acquired by Western Wireless Corporation in a cash and stock transaction. Western Wireless was subsequently acquired by AllTel Corporation, which was in turn acquired by Verizon Wireless.

Triad Cellular Corporation was also active in a number of FCC wireless spectrum auctions. It participated directly in Auction 5 – the PCS C Block Auction, Auction 11 – the PCS D/E/F Block Auction, Auction 12 – the Cellular Unserved Auction, and Auction 14 – the WCS Auction. Through these auctions, Triad acquired 23 licenses covering 66 million people. Following the auctions, Triad worked to utilize the licenses to bring new and competitive wireless services to its coverage areas. The PCS licenses were acquired to compliment Triad's existing cellular footprint by bolstering spectrum depth and allowing expansion of competitive services into adjacent urban cities. Similarly, spectrum acquired in the Cellular Unserved auction was utilized to expand the 850 MHz cellular footprint to previously unserved communities. Licenses acquired in the WCS Auction were initially positioned for deployment as part of the initial launch of Satellite Radio service (WCS spectrum is contiguous with Satellite Radio spectrum). However, prior to deployment, AT&T acquired Triad's WCS licenses.

Triad Cellular Corporation is controlled by Barry Lewis and Craig Viehweg. M/C Venture Partners was the sole venture capital investor.

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3G PCS, LLC

3G PCS, LLC was formed to participate in FCC Auction 35 – the C&F Block PCS Re-Auction. This auction offered 422 BTA licenses in the C and F blocks which were either returned to, or reclaimed by, the FCC as a result of defaults on installment payment obligations in previous auctions (the vast majority of licenses were reclaimed from NextWave). The auction commenced December 12, 2000 and concluded on January 26, 2001 after 101 rounds. Net auction proceeds totaled $16.9 billion, or $4.18 per MHz pop. Although auction pricing quickly exceeded 3G's pre-established pricing thresholds, 3G did purchase three licenses covering 364,000 pops for $1.27 million, or $0.35 per MHz pop. Subsequent to the conclusion of the auction, NextWave prevailed in its lawsuit against the FCC, forcing most of the licenses offered in this auction to be returned to NextWave. As a result of the NextWave litigation, 3G returned two of its licenses to the FCC for a full refund. 3G retained one license covering Gainesville, GA. In 2006, 3G completed construction and turned up its initial broadband wireless network serving Gainesville. In January 2007, 3G sold the Gainesville network assets and license to Chickasaw Wireless.

3G PCS, LLC is controlled by Barry Lewis, Craig Viehweg and John Mason. Non-controlling investors included M/C Venture Partners and Navis Partners.

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Harbor Guardband, LLC

Harbor Guardband, LLC was formed to participate in FCC Auction 33 – the Upper 700 MHz Guard Band Auction. This auction offered two licenses in each of 52 MEAs, consisting of a 2 MHz paired license (2x1 MHz), and a 4 MHz paired license (2x2 MHz), for 6 MHz total nationwide. The auction commenced September 6, 2000 and concluded after 66 rounds on September 21, 2000. Net auction proceeds totaled $520 million, or $0.353 per MHz pop. Harbor Guardband purchased the Alaska 4 MHz license, covering 0.6 million pops, for $0.019 per MHz pop. In July 2007, Harbor Guardband combined its Alaska license with Access 700 Holdings, LLC and took an equity interest in Access. In August 2007, the FCC issued rules reconfiguring the guardband spectrum and eliminated certain operational restrictions. As part of this reconfiguration, Access converted its spectrum holdings into 2 MHz licenses (1x2 MHz paired) covering 117 million pops, or 234 million MHz pops. Access' new licenses are directly adjacent to the recently auctioned 700 MHz C-Block licenses acquired in Auction 73 by Verizon (lower 48 states) and Triad 700, LLC (Alaska). Harbor Guardband looks forward to the rapid evolution of the 700 MHz band, and particularly the use of guardband spectrum licenses to bring new and innovative services to communities in the licensed service areas.

Harbor Guardband, LLC is controlled by Barry Lewis, Craig Viehweg and John Mason. Non-controlling investors include M/C Venture Partners and individual investors from the wireless industry.

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Harbor Wireless, LLC

Harbor Wireless, LLC was formed to participate in FCC Auction 44 – the Lower 700 MHz Band Auction. This auction offered one 12 MHz paired license (2x6 MHz) in each of 734 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), and one 6 MHz unpaired license in each of 6 Economic Area Groupings (EAGs), for 18 MHz total nationwide. The auction commenced on August 27, 2002 and concluded September 18, 2002 after 84 bidding rounds. Only 58% of the spectrum offered received a bid. Net auction proceeds totaled $89 million, or $0.033 per MHz pop (for licenses sold). Triad purchased fourteen licenses covering 8.5 million pops, for $2.8 million, or $0.028 per MHz pop. Licenses acquired included a Florida cluster covering Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Melbourne and Ft. Pierce, a Carolina cluster covering Charlotte and Greenville, and other attractive markets in New Jersey, Texas, Georgia and Missouri.

In 2002, the 700 MHz Band was clouded by much uncertainty. No formal date was established for incumbent television broadcasters to relocate out of the band, no future auction dates were scheduled to bring the remaining licenses in the band to market, no specific technologies had been developed to bring next generation wireless services to the band, and no network or handset equipment providers had committed to manufacture equipment incorporating the band. To help address these uncertainties, Harbor Wireless helped lead an effort to organize the 700 MHz licensees. In 2003, Harbor joined with Qualcomm, Aloha Partners, several Rural Telephone Cooperatives, and other licensees to form the 700 MHz Advancement Coalition. Harbor was a founding member of the Coalition and a member of its Steering Committee. The Coalition had a major impact on issues significant to the 700 MHz band, including the Second Periodic Review of the DTV Transition, and the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to digital Low Power TV. Establishing a firm DTV transition date was hotly contested by the broadcast industry. After much debate and legislative maneuvering, a compromise measure was finally reached, and on February 8, 2006, President Bush signed legislation requiring broadcasters to vacate the 700 MHz band by February 17, 2009.  The transition date was subsequently delayed to June 12, 2009 and the DTV transition was completed on that date.

Harbor was also very active in studying the full range of services and technologies compatible with 700 MHz spectrum. Harbor explored services ranging from fixed wireless voice and data, to wide-area WiFi and WiMax services, to 4G LTE services, to DVB-H and MediaFlo digital broadcast services. In late 2007, as Triad Management was preparing Harbor's initial network deployment plans and preparing for Auction 73, discussions commenced with AT&T regarding Harbor's licenses. After careful consideration, Triad Management concluded the combination of Harbor's licenses with AT&T's network assets would benefit the public interest by bringing next generation services to market rapidly, and would also be in the best interest of Harbor's shareholders. The transaction closed on March 6, 2008.

Harbor Wireless, LLC is controlled by Barry Lewis, Craig Viehweg and John Mason. Non-controlling investors include individual investors from the wireless industry.

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Triad AWS, LLC

Triad AWS, LLC was formed to participate in FCC Auction 66 – the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) Auction. This auction offered 90 MHz of spectrum nationwide, broken into three different geographic license sets (CMA, EA and REAG) and license bandwidth of 10 or 20 MHz. The auction commenced on August 9, 2006 and concluded September 18, 2006 after 161 bidding rounds. Net auction proceeds totaled $13.7 billion, or $0.54 per MHz pop. Triad purchased five AWS licenses covering 4.7 million pops, for $0.05 per MHz pop. Licenses acquired cover Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and portions of Ohio.

The AWS licenses were subsequently sold to PR Wireless, Coral Wireless and Cleveland Unlimited.

Triad AWS, LLC is controlled by Barry Lewis, Craig Viehweg and John Mason. Non-controlling investors include M/C Venture Partners and Columbia Capital.

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Triad 700, LLC

Triad 700, LLC was formed to participate in FCC Auction 73 – the 700 MHz Band Auction. Auction 73 commenced on January 24, 2008 and concluded on March 18, 2008 after 260 rounds of bidding. The auction generated $19 billion in net bids ($1.22 per MHz pop) and was dominated by industry giants Verizon and AT&T.

Triad acquired 36 licenses covering 193 million MHz POPs for $17 million, or $0.09 per MHz POP. Licenses acquired include a very deep spectrum position in Alaska (34 MHz covering the entire state), plus clusters of very attractive licenses covering parts of California, Nevada, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Triad 700, LLC is controlled by Barry Lewis and Craig Viehweg. Non-controlling investors include M/C Venture Partners, Highland Capital, Ignition Partners, Battery Ventures and individual investors from the wireless industry.



 
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