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Sep 12, 2007 19:22 EEST
September 12 (SeeNews) - Polish financial group MCI Management and U.S. investment fund Intel Capital said on Wednesday they had jointly bought a 31.6% stake in Bulgarian telecoms services and Internet provider Nexcom for $5.0 million (3.6 million euro).
MCI Management will also lend $2.1 million to Nexcom, which is currently building a nationwide WiMAX network to deliver a bundled solution of voice and wireless Internet services, the company said in a statement.
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"Over the next 12 months, Nexcom plans to continue rapid deployment of its national WiMAX network, providing bundled voice and Internet services in 24 Bulgarian cities and resort towns," Nexcom co-founder and chairman Chris Haller said in a separate statement.
In early 2007, Nexcom said it would invest 20 million euro in deploying its WiMAX network by the end of 2009, planning to cover over 85% of Bulgaria's population of 7.7 million people. The company won a 10-year licence for a national WiMAX frequency in 2005.
"We are pleased to initiate our investment activity in Bulgaria with this investment in Nexcom, a project which we think will significantly improve the availability and affordability of telecommunications infrastructure to both consumers and businesses," Intel Capital head for Central and Eastern Europe Marcin Hejka said in the statement. "This investment is part of our global focus on supporting WiMAX development and deployment, which should make broadband more accessible to Bulgarians."
Nexcom (www.nexcom.bg ), set up in 1998 by U.S. Nexcom Telecommunications to provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, is one of the largest of around 20 operators offering an alternative to dominant fixed-line telecoms operator BTC.
MCI Management (www.mci.com.pl) is financial group managing venture capital and private equity funds. The company invests in innovative companies operating in the Internet, mobile telephony, e-commerce, wireless technologies, software, IT, biotechnology/life science and media sectors.
Intel Capital, the venture capital organisation of U.S. chip maker Intel Corporation (www.intel.com), makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet and semiconductor manufacturing.
WiMAX is a standards-based wireless technology that provides high-throughput broadband connections over long distances, for transmission in the 3.4-3.6 gigahertz (GHz) frequency band that can handle Internet, video, voice or data transmission at speed ranging from 128 kilobits per second to 34 megabits per second. The main advantage of that kind of wireless networks is the opportunity to offer high-quality data transmission to places where the installation of fibre-optic cables is economically inefficient or unfeasible.
($ = 0.7207 euro)
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