NII Holdings
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NII Holdings
NII Holdings, Inc.
McCaw International (1995-1997)
Nextel International (1997-2001)
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryWireless Services
United States
Area served
Key people
Roberto Rittes (CEO)
ProductsHigh-speed networks, Two way messaging, Push to Talk
Revenue$870 million (2018)
Number of employees
Footnotes / references

NII Holdings, Inc. (formerly Nextel International) is an American holding company that, through its subsidiary Nextel Telecomunicações Ltda., provides mobile communications services under the Nextel brand in Brazil.[4] NII operates 3G UMTS/HSDPA and 4G LTE networks in Brazil, and formerly also operated an iDEN network there until its shutdown in 2018.

In 2012, for the third consecutive year, NII Holdings ranked in the Fortune 500 and Barron's 500 lists. NII also has been named one of the best places to work among multinationals in Latin America by the Great Place to Work® Institute.[5]

NII went through bankruptcy in 2014 and 2015.[6]


NII originally launched as the international business unit of Nextel Communications[7] as McCaw International in 1995. Later Nextel changes its name to Nextel international in 1997.[8]

Nextel International changed its name to NII Holdings in 2001.[9]

Divestiture of minority interests

NII Holdings sold its 12% minority interest in Shanghai CCT-McCaw Telecommunications Systems Co., Ltd in March 2000, after it was informed by China Unicom that its financing structure was no longer permitted by Chinese regulations.[10] Due to unfavorable market conditions, NII Holdings sold their 21% minority interest[11] of NEXNET Co (Nextel Japan) to Motorola for 10 million in exchange for forgiveness of debt owed to Motorola in 2001.[12] NII Holdings also sold their fourteen percent minority interest in Telus[11] for 196 million dollars also in the year 2001.[12]

First bankruptcy and reorganization

NII Holdings' Nextel Argentina operating company failed to make a principle payment of $108 million in December 2001. In February 2002, NII Holdings failed to make a 41 million dollar interest payment on a 650 million dollar bond as well, seeking to preserve cash while it restructured its debts and implemented a revised business plan. NII Holdings filed its first chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 200s[13] and exited from bankruptcy on November 12, 2002, with Nextel owning 36% of the restructured company.[13] Following its bankruptcy restructuring, NII Holdings began trading a NII on NASDAQ as NIHD[8] in 2003.[]

Discontinuation and divestiture of Nextel Philippines

Nextel Philippines started operations in 1995. But due to poor operating performance, being in violation of Philippine ownership laws, as well as an attempt to save cash, NII Holdings decided to stop funding its Nextel Communications Philippines, Inc operations at the end of fiscal year 2001.[14] By the end of the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2002, NII Holdings sold its 59.1% share in Nextel Philippines with its 53,80 subscribers for $23.5 million[15] to the Velarde group Next Mobile.[16]

Quarterly report amendments

On October 27, 2004, NII amended its 2003 annual report on Form 10-K and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the first and second quarters of 2004, correcting errors.[17] On March 7, 2005, the company said it would restate financial statements for the entirety of 2003 and the first nine months of 2004 after finding accounting errors.[18]

Agreement with Televisa

In February 2010, NII Holdings and Grupo Televisa signed a definitive agreement under which Televisa would have acquired an equity stake in Nextel Mexico. Under the agreement, Televisa would have invested $1.44 billion in cash for an initial 30% equity stake in Nextel Mexico, which implies Nextel Mexico's pre-investment value at $4.3 billion.[19] On October 19, 2010, however, vice president and COO in Mexico Gustavo Cantu announced the partnership had been terminated by mutual agreement. More recently Cantu spoke about the future of content and telecommunications in Mexico.[20]

Divestiture of Nextel Peru and Chile

In August 2013, NII Holdings completed the sale of Nextel Peru to Entel[21] for 400 million dollars.[22]

In August 2014, NII Holdings sold Nextel Chile to Fucata, S.A[21] Fucata was subsequently acquired by the British investment firm Novator Partners in 2015, and the Nextel Chile network was rebranded as WOM (es) in July that same year.

Second bankruptcy and reorganization

On January 26, 2015, it was announced that AT&T had entered into an agreement with NII Holdings, Inc. to acquire its wireless business in Mexico for US$1.875 billion, less the outstanding net debt of the business at closing, in a transaction pursuant to Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.[]

Decline and mismanagement

In a 2014 article on problems leading to Nextel Mexico's bankruptcy, CNN interviewed employees noting a lack of corporate accessibility. President Peter Foyo had moved to Cancun around 2010, for example, where Nextel had no corporate presence, and some of the company's other management later followed suit.[23] In a restructuring, in 2013 Foyo was appointed vice president of business development out of the United States, with his successor John McMahon becoming interim president.[24] Gustavo Cantu remained COO, leaving the following year.

According to CNN, Nextel Mexico also reacted too slowly to Sprint's announcement of that it was shutting down its iDEN network in 2012.[23] Sprint's iDEN shutdown eliminated Nextel Mexico's main competitive advantage, which was free calls to the United States. After Sprint shut down the network, many regions of Northern Mexico lost coverage that was provided by Sprint via roaming agreements. This resulted in a loss of one million subscribers in the following quarter, leaving Nextel Mexico with 2.93 million subscribers.[25] After Nextel Mexico coverage degraded due to Sprint's iDEN Shutdown, Nextel Mexico also delayed the deployment of the 30Mhz of Spectrum that it acquired in the 1.7 and 2.1 GHz bands in 2010 resulting in additional subscriber losses in Mexico.[25]

Defaulting on bonds

Due to falling subscriber count in Mexico and mounting debt of US$5.8 billion, NII Holdings opted to not pay $118.8 million in interest obligations on senior notes that were due on August 15, 2014.[26] On September 15, 2014 NII filed for bankruptcy protection[27] after losing 77 thousand subscribers and $629 million in the previous quarter.[]

Divestiture of Mexican assets

On April 30, 2015, NII Holdings finalized the sale of Nextel Mexico, of which it held control for 18 years, for $1.875 billion. NII Holdings ended up with $1.448 billion in net proceeds after paying off a defaulted debt balance of $350.5 million, seeking to repay in full the outstanding principal and accrued interest due under its debtor-in-possession loan that it borrowed in March 2015.[28]

Post-bankruptcy and Nextel Argentina sale

NII Holdings exited bankruptcy with court approval on June 29, 2015,[29] offering 100 million shares of new common stock and $745 million in cash to its debt holders under its old stock ticker NIHD. In September of the same year, NII Holdings announced that they sold 49% percent of Nextel Argentina to Grupo Clarin, further reducing its operations in the Argentinian market in favor of growing Brazilian operations.[30] On January 29, 2016, NII Holdings completed selling its remaining shares of Nextel Argentina to Clarín Group.[31]

Wireless operations

Currently NII Holdings operates Nextel Brazil offering post paid wireless voice and data services. Nextel Brazil operates the following networks:

Radio frequency range Band number Generation Radio Interface Status
2100 MHz 1 3G UMTS Active
800 MHz 27 4G LTE Planned[32]
1800 MHz 3 4G LTE Currently Deploying


  1. ^ About Nii
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Latin American Markets". NII Holdings. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10.
  5. ^ "Careers". NII Holdings. Archived from the original on 2016-07-15. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "NII Holdings announces agreement on reorganization plan". Virginia Business. 2014-11-25. Retrieved .
  7. ^ About Nii Holdings, Inc
  8. ^ a b "NII Holdings, Inc. Timeline" (PDF). Nextel International. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-20. Retrieved .
  9. ^
  10. ^ Nii holdings. "10 year fiscal year 1999 2. Shanghai, People's Republic of China Negotiations". Edgar online. Nii holdings. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ a b Nii holdings. "Fiscal year 1999- Item 1. Business". Edgar online. Nii holding. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ a b Nii Holdings. "Form 10k; fiscal year 2001". Edgar Online. Nii Holdings. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ a b NEXTEL COMMUNICATIONS, INC. "FORM 10-K - fiscal year 2002". SEC- Edgar Online. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ Nii holdings. "form 10-k fiscal year 2001". Edgar online. Nii Holdings. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ Nii holdings. "Form 10K- Fiscal year 2002". Yahoo Edgar Online. Nii Holdings. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "Next Mobile partners with Nextel Philippines". Philstar. 2003-01-20. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "NII Holdings Completes Its Review of Nextel Mexico Bookkeeping Errors and Announces Plans to Amend Certain Prior Period Filings; The Cumulative Effect Is a $3.4 Million Understatement of Income Before Taxes and a $2.1 Million Overstatement of Operating Income Related to Prior Periods; Correction of the Errors Will not Impact Third Quarter Results".
  18. ^ "NII Holdings to restate financials after audit committee finds potential errors". RCR Wireless News. 2005-03-14.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Cantu, Bauer, Morin on Mexico Telecommunications". Bloomberg.
  21. ^ a b Nii Holdings. "form 10k fiscal year 2014". Nii holdings investor relations. Nii holdings. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ Harrison, Crayton (5 April 2013). "NII Gains on $400 Million Sale of Peru Division to Entel". Bloomberg.
  23. ^ a b "El ascenso y caída de Nextel México" [The rise and fall of Nextel Mexico]. Expansión (in Spanish). 2014-09-24. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Nextel México cambia a su presidente" [Nextel Mexico Changes its President]. Expansión (in Spanish). 2013-12-17. Retrieved .
  25. ^ a b Sígler, Édgar (2014-08-13). "Nextel: cómo perdió 1 millón de clientes" [Nextel: how it lost 1 million customers]. Expansión (in Spanish). Retrieved .
  26. ^ Jhonsa, Eric (2014-08-15). "NII Holdings defaults on debt". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved .
  27. ^ Checkler, Joseph; Brickley, Peg (2014-09-15). "NII Holdings Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved .
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External links

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