FCC OKs Plan to Swap Nextel's Bandwith

A plan aimed at ending cell phone interference that has affected hundreds of public safety systems around the country won approval Thursday from federal regulators.

Nextel had lobbied hard for the 1.9-gigahertz spectrum, but had not offered to pay for it. Instead, it backed a straight swap of the old airwaves for the new ones.

Separately, Verizon announced Thursday that it had purchased for $930 million a swath of spectrum in the 1.9 Ghz band auctioned off by NextWave Telecom Inc. The spectrum covers the New York City area and portions of New Jersey.

Nextel's stock fell 88 cents to close at $25.52 on the Nasdaq, while Verizon slipped 59 cents to $35.48 on the New York Stock Exchange.