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  • 10-K (Feb 28, 2013)
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  • 10-K (Feb 24, 2011)
  • 10-K (Feb 25, 2010)

 
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8-K

 
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NII Holdings 10-K 2006
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
     
þ
  ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF
THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
     
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005
or
o
  TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF
THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
     
For the transition period from        to       
     
Commission file number 0-32421
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
     
Delaware
  91-1671412
(State or other jurisdiction of
  (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
incorporation or organization)
   
     
10700 Parkridge Boulevard, Suite 600
  20191
Reston, Virginia
  (Zip Code)
(Address of principal executive offices)
   
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (703) 390-5100
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
     
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
 
None
  N/A
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
 
Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes þ     No o
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes o     No þ
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes þ     No o
 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  o
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
(Check one):  Large accelerated filer þ     Accelerated filer o     Non-accelerated filer o
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).  Yes o    No þ
 
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter: $4,349,549,895
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Section 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.  Yes þ     No o
 
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.
 
         
    Number of Shares Outstanding
Title of Class
  on March 3, 2006
 
Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share
    152,153,141  
 
 
Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2006 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.


 

 
NII HOLDINGS, INC.
 
 
             
Item
 
Description
  Page
 
 
PART I
1.
  Business   2
1A.
  Risk Factors   25
1B.
  Unresolved Staff Comments   35
2.
  Properties   35
3.
  Legal Proceedings   35
4.
  Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders   35
         
Executive Officers of the Registrant
  35
 
PART II
5.
  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities   38
6.
  Selected Financial Data   38
7.
  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation   45
7A.
  Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk   99
8.
  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data   101
9.
  Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure   101
9A.
  Controls and Procedures   101
9B.
  Other Information   103
 
PART III
10.
  Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant   104
11.
  Executive Compensation   104
12.
  Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters   104
13.
  Certain Relationships and Related Transactions   104
14.
  Principal Accounting Fees and Services   104
 
PART IV
15.
  Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules   105


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Item 1.   Business
 
A.  Introduction
 
Unless the context requires otherwise, “NII Holdings, Inc.,” “NII Holdings,” “we,” “our,” “us” and “the Company” refer to the combined businesses of NII Holdings, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. NII Holdings, Inc., formerly known as Nextel International, Inc., was incorporated in Delaware in 2000.
 
Except as otherwise indicated, all dollar amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and references to “dollars” and “$” are to U.S. dollars. All consolidated historical financial statements contained in this report are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.
 
Our principal executive office is located at 10700 Parkridge Boulevard, Suite 600, Reston, Virginia 20191. Our telephone number at that location is (703) 390-5100.
 
We maintain an internet website at www.nii.com. Stockholders of the Company and the public may access our periodic and current reports (including annual, quarterly and current reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, respectively, and any amendments to those reports) filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, through the “investor relations” section of our website. The information is provided by a third party link to the SEC’s online EDGAR database, is free of charge and may be reviewed, downloaded and printed from our website at any time.
 
“Nextel,” “Nextel Direct Connect,” “Nextel Online,” “Nextel Worldwide” and “International Direct Connect” are trademarks or service marks of Nextel Communications, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SprintNextel Corporation. “Motorola” and “iDEN” are trademarks or service marks of Motorola, Inc.
 
B.  Overview
 
We provide digital wireless communication services primarily targeted at meeting the needs of business customers through operating companies located in selected Latin American markets. Our principal operations are in major business centers and related transportation corridors of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Peru. We also provide analog specialized mobile radio, which we refer to as SMR, services in Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Chile. Our markets are generally characterized by high population densities in major urban centers, which we refer to as major business centers, and where we believe there is a concentration of the country’s business users and economic activity. In addition, vehicle traffic congestion, low wireline penetration and unreliability of the land-based telecommunications infrastructure encourage the use of mobile wireless communications services in these areas.
 
We use a transmission technology called integrated digital enhanced network, or iDEN, technology developed by Motorola, Inc. to provide our digital mobile services on 800 MHz spectrum holdings in all of our digital markets. This technology allows us to use our spectrum more efficiently and offer multiple digital wireless services integrated on one digital handset device. Our digital mobile networks support multiple digital wireless services, including:
 
  •  digital mobile telephone service, including advanced calling features such as speakerphone, conference calling, voice-mail, call forwarding and additional line service;
 
  •  Nextel Direct Connect® service, which allows subscribers anywhere on our network to talk to each other instantly, on a “push-to-talk” basis, on a private one-to-one call or on a group call;
 
  •  International Direct Connect® service, in partnership with Nextel Communications, Nextel Partners and TELUS Corporation, which allows subscribers to communicate instantly across national borders with our subscribers in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Peru, with Nextel Communications and Nextel Partners subscribers in the United States and with TELUS subscribers in Canada;


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  •  Internet services, mobile messaging services, e-mail, location-based services via Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies and advanced Javatm enabled business applications, which are marketed as “Nextel Onlinesm” services; and
 
  •  international roaming capabilities, which are marketed as “Nextel Worldwidesm.”
 
As of December 31, 2005, our operating companies had licenses in markets that cover about 296 million people, an increase of 129 million people from December 31, 2004 mainly due to new licenses that we acquired in Mexico and Brazil. Our licenses are concentrated in the areas of the highest population and business activity in the countries in which we operate. We currently provide integrated digital mobile services in the three largest metropolitan areas in each of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, in the largest city in Peru and in various other cities in each country. As of December 31, 2005, our operating companies had a total of about 2.51 million digital handsets in commercial service, an increase of 630 thousand from the 1.88 million digital handsets in commercial service as of December 31, 2004. We refer to our operating companies by the countries in which they operate, such as Nextel Mexico, Nextel Brazil, Nextel Argentina, Nextel Peru and Nextel Chile. For financial information about our operating companies, which we refer to as segments, see Note 15 to our consolidated financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K.
 
The table below provides an overview of our total digital handsets in commercial service in the countries indicated as of December 31, 2005 and 2004. For purposes of the table, digital handsets in commercial service represent all digital handsets in use by our customers on the digital mobile networks in each of the listed countries. System type indicates whether the local wireless communications system is based on an analog SMR system or a digital enhanced SMR system.
 
                                     
        Population
  Digital Handsets
        Covered by
  in Commercial
        Licenses   Service
        As of December 31,   As of December 31,
Country
  System Type   2005   2004   2005   2004
        (in millions)   (in thousands)
 
Mexico
  Digital/analog   107   46   1,120   835
Brazil
  Digital/analog   137   71   638   481
Argentina
  Digital   21   20   500   378
Peru
  Digital/analog   15   15   248   185
Chile
  Analog   16   15    
                     
Total
      296   167   2,506   1,879
                     
 
We were organized in 1995 as a holding company for the operations of Nextel Communications, Inc. in selected international markets. In December 2001, we changed our name from Nextel International, Inc. to NII Holdings, Inc. On May 24, 2002, we and NII Holdings (Delaware), Inc., our wholly-owned subsidiary, filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which we refer to as the Bankruptcy Code, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. None of our international operating companies filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. On October 28, 2002, the Bankruptcy Court confirmed our plan of reorganization and on November 12, 2002, we emerged from Chapter 11 proceedings.
 
 
 
Mexico Syndicated Loan Facility.  In October 2004, Nextel Mexico closed on a $250.0 million, five year syndicated loan facility. Of the total amount of the facility, $129.0 million is denominated in U.S. dollars with a floating interest rate based on LIBOR (6.81% as of December 31, 2005), $31.0 million is denominated in Mexican pesos with a floating interest rate based on the Mexican reference rate, the Interbank Equilibrium Interest Rate, or TIIE (11.13% as of December 31, 2005), and $90.0 million is denominated in Mexican pesos at an interest rate fixed at the time of funding (12.48%). In April 2005, Nextel Mexico amended the credit


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agreement for the syndicated loan facility to extend the availability period until May 31, 2005, and in May 2005, Nextel Mexico drew down on the loan facility for the entire $250.0 million.
 
Conversion of 3.5% Convertible Notes.  On June 10, 2005 and June 21, 2005, certain noteholders converted $40.0 million and $48.5 million, respectively, principal face amount of our 3.5% convertible notes into 3,000,000 shares and 3,635,850 shares (75.0 shares issued per $1,000 of debt principal multiplied by the debt principal) in accordance with the original terms of the debt securities. In connection with these conversions, we paid in the aggregate $8.9 million in cash as additional consideration for conversion, as well as $0.8 million of accrued and unpaid interest. We recorded the $8.9 million paid as debt conversion expense in our consolidated statement of operations. We reclassified to paid-in capital the original remaining deferred financing costs related to the notes that were converted.
 
Interest Rate Swap.  In July 2005, Nextel Mexico entered into an interest rate swap agreement to hedge the variability of future cash flows associated with the $31.0 million Mexican peso-denominated variable rate portion of its $250.0 million syndicated loan facility. Under the interest rate swap, Nextel Mexico agreed to exchange the difference between the variable Mexican reference rate, TIIE, and a fixed rate, based on a notional amount of $31.4 million. The interest rate swap fixed the amount of interest expense associated with this portion of the syndicated loan facility commencing on August 31, 2005 and will continue over the life of the facility based on a fixed rate of about 11.95% per year in local Mexican currency.
 
2.75% Convertible Notes.  In August 2005, we privately placed $300.0 million aggregate principal amount of 2.75% convertible notes due 2025, which we refer to as our 2.75% notes. In addition, we granted the initial purchaser an option to purchase up to an additional $50.0 million principal amount of 2.75% notes, which the initial purchaser exercised in full. As a result, we issued an additional $50.0 million aggregate principal amount of 2.75% notes, resulting in total gross proceeds of $350.0 million. We also incurred direct issuance costs of $9.0 million, which we recorded as deferred financing costs on our consolidated balance sheet and are amortizing over five years. The notes were publicly registered, effective February 10, 2006.
 
The 2.75% notes bear interest at a rate of 2.75% per annum on the principal amount of the notes, payable semi-annually in arrears in cash on February 15 and August 15 of each year, beginning February 15, 2006, and will mature on August 15, 2025, when the entire principal balance of $350.0 million will be due. In addition, the noteholders have the right to require us to repurchase the 2.75% notes on August 15 of 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2020 at a repurchase price equal to 100% of their principal amount, plus any accrued and unpaid interest (including additional amounts, if any) up to, but excluding, the repurchase date. The 2.75% notes are convertible into 6,988,450 shares of our common stock at a conversion rate of 19.967 shares per $1,000 principal amount of notes, subject to adjustment, prior to the close of business on the final maturity date under certain circumstances.
 
We have the option to satisfy the conversion of the 2.75% notes in shares of our common stock, in cash or a combination of both.
 
Prior to August 20, 2010, the 2.75% notes are not redeemable. On or after August 20, 2010, we may redeem for cash some or all of the 2.75% notes, at any time and from time to time, upon at least 30 days’ notice for a price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the notes to be redeemed plus any accrued and unpaid interest (including additional amounts, if any) up to, but excluding, the redemption date. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding our 2.75% notes.
 
Foreign Currency Hedge.  In September 2005, Nextel Mexico entered into a derivative agreement to reduce its foreign currency transaction risk associated with $129.4 million of its 2006 U.S. dollar forecasted capital expenditures and handset purchases. This risk is hedged by forecasting Nextel Mexico’s capital expenditures and handset purchases for a 12-month period beginning in January 2006. Under this agreement, Nextel Mexico purchased a U.S. dollar call option for $3.6 million and sold a call option on the Mexican peso for $1.1 million for a net cost of $2.5 million.
 
In October 2005, Nextel Mexico entered into another derivative agreement to further reduce its foreign currency transaction risk associated with $52.0 million of its 2006 U.S. dollar forecasted capital expenditures


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and handset purchases. This risk is similarly hedged by forecasting Nextel Mexico’s capital expenditures and handset purchases for a 12-month period beginning in January 2006. Under this agreement, Nextel Mexico purchased a U.S. dollar call option for $1.4 million and sold a call option on the Mexican peso for $0.3 million for a net cost of $1.1 million.
 
 
Mexico Spectrum Auction.  On January 10, 2005, the Mexican government began an auction for wireless spectrum licenses in the 806-821 MHz to 851-866 MHz frequency band. Inversiones Nextel de Mexico, a subsidiary of Nextel Mexico, participated in this auction. The spectrum auction was divided into three separate auctions: Auction 15 for Northern Mexico Zone 1, Auction 16 for Northern Mexico Zone 2 and Auction 17 for Central and Southern Mexico. The auctions were completed between February 7 and February 11. Nextel Mexico won an average of 15 MHz of nationwide spectrum, except for Mexico City, where no spectrum was auctioned and where Nextel Mexico already has approximately 21 MHz of spectrum licenses. The corresponding licenses and immediate use of the spectrum were granted to Inversiones Nextel de Mexico on March 17, 2005. These new licenses have an initial term of 20 years, which we have estimated to be the amortization period of the licenses, and are renewable thereafter for 20 years. Nextel Mexico paid an up-front fee of $3.4 million for these licenses, excluding certain annual fees, and $0.5 million in other capitalizable costs. The spectrum licenses that Nextel Mexico acquired will allow it to significantly expand its digital mobile network over the next two years, thereby allowing it to cover a substantial portion of the Mexican national geography and population.
 
Purchase of AOL Mexico.  In April 2005, Nextel Mexico purchased the entire equity interest of AOL Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. for approximately $14.1 million in cash. As a result of this transaction, Nextel Mexico obtained AOL Mexico’s call center assets, certain accounts receivable and access to AOL Mexico’s customer list, as well as tax loss carryforwards, which we believe are more likely than not to be realized. We accounted for this transaction as a purchase of assets. This acquisition is a related party transaction as one of our board members is also the president and chief executive officer of AOL Latin America. Due to this board member’s involvement with our company, he recused himself from our decision to make this acquisition.
 
Brazil Spectrum Purchases.  During the second quarter of 2005, Nextel Brazil acquired spectrum licenses for $8.3 million, of which it paid $0.7 million. The remaining $7.6 million is due in six annual installments beginning in 2008, and we are amortizing these licenses over 15 years.
 
 
Servico Movel Especializado (SME) Regulations in Brazil.  On May 16, 2005, the Brazilian National Communications Agency, or Anatel, enacted certain substantive modifications to the SME regulations that, among other things, have the effect of treating Nextel Brazil equal to all other Brazilian SMR and SME carriers with respect to billing for use of other mobile networks. These modifications to the SME regulations became immediately effective and resulted in savings for Nextel Brazil in relation to interconnect charges made by other carriers.
 
Stock Split.  On October 27, 2005, we announced a 2-for-1 common stock split to be effected in the form of a stock dividend, which was paid on November 21, 2005 to holders of record on November 11, 2005. All share and per share amounts in this annual report on Form 10-K related to NII Holdings, Inc. reflect the common stock split.
 
Amendments to Infrastructure Supply and Installation Services Agreements. In December 2005, we and each of our operating companies entered into various amendments to our existing infrastructure supply and installation services agreements with Motorola, Inc. to extend the terms of these agreements to December 31, 2007.


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C.   Wireless Technology
 
Currently, most mobile wireless communications services in our markets are either SMR, cellular or personal communications services systems. Our operating companies offer analog SMR or digital enhanced SMR services, or a combination of both.
 
Our digital mobile networks combine the advanced iDEN technology developed and designed by Motorola with a low-power, multi-site transmitter and receiver configuration that permits frequency reuse. iDEN is a hybrid technology employing a variant of the global system for mobile communications (GSM) standard for the switching layer with a time division multiple access (TDMA) radio air interface. The design of our existing and proposed digital mobile networks currently is premised on dividing a service area into multiple sites. These sites have a typical coverage area ranging from less than one mile to thirty miles in radius, depending on the terrain and the power setting. Each site contains a low-power transmitter, receiver and control equipment referred to as the base station. The base station in each site is connected by microwave, fiber optic cable or telephone line to a computer controlled switching center. The switching center controls the automatic transfer of wireless calls from site to site as a subscriber travels, coordinates calls to and from a digital handset and connects wireless calls to the public switched telephone network. In the case of two-way radio, equipment called a dispatch application processor provides call setup, identifies the target radio and connects the subscriber initiating the call to other targeted subscribers. These two-way radio calls can be connected to one or several other subscribers and can be made without interconnecting to the public switched telephone network.
 
Under the infrastructure supply agreements in effect between us and Motorola, Inc., Nortel Networks Corporation supplies through Motorola, Inc. the majority of the mobile telephone switches for our digital networks. As of December 31, 2005, our operating companies had 11 operational switches and 3,571 transmitter and receiver sites constructed and in operation in our digital mobile networks.
 
Currently, there are three principal digital technology formats used by providers of cellular telephone service or personal communications services:
 
  •  time division multiple access (TDMA) digital transmission technology;
 
  •  code division multiple access (CDMA) digital transmission technology; and
 
  •  global system for mobile communications (GSM) digital transmission technology.
 
Although TDMA, CDMA and GSM are digital transmission technologies that share basic characteristics in contrast to analog transmission technology, they are not compatible or interchangeable with each other. Although Motorola’s proprietary iDEN technology is a hybrid of the TDMA technology format, it differs in a number of significant respects from the versions of this technology used by cellular and personal communications services providers.
 
The implementation of a digital mobile network using iDEN technology significantly increases the capacity of our existing channels and permits us to utilize our current holdings of SMR spectrum more efficiently. This increase in capacity is accomplished in two ways:
 
  •  First, each channel on our digital mobile networks is capable of carrying up to six voice and/or control paths, by employing six-time slot time division multiple access digital technology. Each voice transmission is converted into a stream of data bits that are compressed before being transmitted. This compression allows each of these voice or control paths to be transmitted on the same channel without causing interference. Upon receipt of the coded voice data bits, the digital handset decodes the voice signal. Using iDEN technology, our two-way radio dispatch service achieves about six times improvement over analog SMR in channel utilization capacity. We also achieve up to six times improvement over analog SMR in channel utilization capacity for channels used for mobile telephone service.
 
  •  Second, our digital mobile networks reuse each channel many times throughout the market area in a manner similar to that used in the cellular industry, further improving channel utilization capacity.


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Unlike other digital transmission technologies, iDEN can be deployed on non-contiguous frequency holdings. This benefits us because our 800 MHz channel holdings are, in large part, composed of non-contiguous channels. Further, iDEN technology allows us to offer our multi-functional package of digital mobile services. While iDEN offers a number of advantages in relation to other technology platforms, unlike other wireless technologies, it is a proprietary technology that relies solely on the efforts of Motorola and any future licensees of this technology for technology and product development and innovation. Motorola is also the sole source supplier of iDEN infrastructure and digital handsets. Our agreements with Motorola impose limitations and conditions on our ability to use other technologies. These agreements may delay or prevent us from employing new or different technologies that perform better or are available at a lower cost. Furthermore, iDEN technology is not as widely adopted in relation to other wireless technologies and currently has fewer subscribers on a worldwide basis than other digital technology formats.
 
D.   Network Implementation, Design and Construction
 
After obtaining necessary regulatory authorizations to develop and deploy our networks, we undertake a careful frequency planning and system design process. Our sites have been selected on the basis of their proximity to targeted customers, the ability to acquire and build the sites and frequency propagation characteristics. Site procurement efforts include obtaining leases and permits and, in many cases, zoning approvals. The preparation of each site, including grounding, ventilation, air conditioning and construction, typically takes three months. We must also obtain all equipment necessary for the site. Equipment installation, testing and optimization generally take at least an additional four weeks. Any scheduled build-out or expansion may be delayed due to typical permitting, construction and other delays.
 
E.   Marketing
 
Our operating companies primarily market their wireless communications services to businesses with mobile work forces and/or multiple locations, such as service companies, security firms, contractors and delivery services. Companies with mobile work forces often need to provide their personnel with the ability to communicate directly with one another. To meet the needs of these customers, we offer a package of services and features that combines multiple communications services in one digital handset. This package includes Nextel Direct Connect, which allows users to contact other subscribers instantly on a “push-to-talk” basis, on a private one-to-one call or on a one-to-many group call. To further differentiate our service from that of our competitors, we offer Nextel Direct Connect in, among and throughout all areas covered by our digital wireless network in each country in which we operate as well as internationally in the United States and certain parts of Canada. The nationwide and international network features of our Nextel Direct Connect and International Direct Connect services allow our customers to avoid the long distance and roaming charges that our competitors may charge for long distance and international long distance communications. For a more detailed description of the marketing focus of each managed operating company, see the “Marketing” discussion for each of those operating companies under “Operating Companies.”
 
F.   Competition
 
The Latin American mobile communications industry has undergone significant growth over the past two years. Our total digital handsets in commercial service within the markets we serve reached about 2.5 million as of December 31, 2005, which represents an increase of 32% compared to about 1.9 million handsets in commercial service as of December 31, 2004. We believe that the wireless communications industry has been and will continue to be characterized by intense competition on the basis of price, the types of services offered and quality of service.
 
In the countries in which we operate, there are principally three other multinational providers of mobile wireless voice communications with whom we compete:
 
  •  America Movil, which has the largest wireless market share in Mexico, operates in eight of Brazil’s ten cellular licensed areas and has nationwide coverage in Argentina, Peru and Chile;


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  •  Telefonica Moviles, which has wireless operations throughout Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Chile, is a joint controlling shareholder of Vivo, the largest wireless operator in Brazil, and recently purchased the Latin American operations of BellSouth Corporation to become the second largest wireless operator in Latin America; and
 
  •  Telecom Italia Mobile, or TIM, which has wireless operations covering most of Brazil, and is a joint controlling shareholder of the wireless affiliate of Telecom Argentina. During 2005, TIM sold their operations in Peru to America Movil and their operations in Chile to a Chilean investment group.
 
We also compete with regional or national providers of mobile wireless voice communications, such as Telemar’s Oi in Brazil and Unefon and Iusacell in Mexico.
 
In addition, new licenses may be auctioned by governments in markets in which we operate allowing for new competitors, as well as the competitors listed above, many of whom have greater financial resources, coverage areas and/or name recognition than we do, to expand into new markets and offer new products and services. Some of these existing competitors have more extensive distribution channels than ours, a more expansive spectrum position than ours, or are able to acquire subscribers at a lower cost than we can. We also expect current and future competitors will continue to upgrade their systems to provide additional services competitive with those available on our networks. Additionally, some competitors operate in the wireline business allowing them to bundle their wireless product to their customers.
 
In each of the markets where our operating companies operate, we compete with other communications services providers, based primarily on our differentiated wireless service offerings and products, principally our Direct Connect service, including International Direct Connect, consultative distribution channels and on our customer care and service. Our competitors include other wireless communications companies and wireline telephone companies. Although pricing is often an important factor in potential customers’ purchase decisions, we believe that our targeted customer base of primarily business users and individuals who utilize premium mobile communications features and services are also likely to base their purchase decisions on quality of service and the availability of differentiated features and services that make it easier for them to get things done quickly and efficiently.
 
Many existing telecommunications enterprises in the markets in which our operating companies conduct business have successfully attracted significant investments from multinational communications companies. Because of their financial resources, these competitors significantly outspend us with their advertising/brand awareness campaigns and may be able to reduce prices to gain market share. We expect that the prices we charge for our products and services will decline over the next few years as competition intensifies in our markets. Several of our competitors have introduced aggressive pricing promotions and shared minutes between groups of callers. In addition, several of our competitors have also introduced Push-To-Talk over Cellular service, which is a walkie-talkie type of service similar to our Direct Connect service. While we believe that the competitors’ current versions of Push-To-Talk over Cellular do not compare favorably with our Direct Connect service, particularly in terms of latency, quality, reliability or ease of use, if competitors are able to replicate a product more comparable to ours, we may lose some of our competitive advantages.
 
The Latin American wireless market is predominantly a pre-paid market, which means that customers pay in advance for a pre-determined number of minutes of use. However, our strategy primarily focuses on the contract, or post-paid, market, which generally offers higher average monthly revenue per handset and higher operating cash flow per subscriber. This strategy has allowed us to acquire and retain the most profitable subscribers in the markets in which we operate. Since the wireless industry has often competed based on price, increased competition could require us to decrease prices or increase service and product offerings, which would lower our revenues or increase our costs. Additional service offerings by our competitors and/or product offerings could also impact our ability to retain customers. While we believe that the post-paid market continues to be growing, the market could become saturated as competition in this customer segment increases.
 
Consolidation has created and may continue to create additional large, well-capitalized competitors with substantial financial, technical, marketing and other resources. Recent mergers have included Telefonica


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Moviles’ acquisition of BellSouth International’s wireless assets in Latin America and America Moviles’ acquisitions of TIM Peru and Smartcom S.A. in Chile. We also expect our digital mobile network businesses to face competition from other technologies and services developed and introduced in the future.
 
For a more detailed description of the competitive factors affecting each operating company, see the “Competition” discussion for each of those operating companies under “— I. Operating Companies.”
 
G.  Regulation
 
The licensing, construction, ownership and operation of wireless communications systems are regulated by governmental entities in the markets in which our operating companies conduct business. The grant, maintenance, and renewal of applicable licenses and radio frequency allocations are also subject to regulation. In addition, these matters and other aspects of wireless communications system operations, including rates charged to customers and the resale of wireless communications services, may be subject to public utility regulation in the jurisdiction in which service is provided. Further, statutes and regulations in some of the markets in which our operating companies conduct business impose limitations on the ownership of telecommunications companies by foreign entities. Changes in the current regulatory environments, the interpretation or application of current regulations or future judicial intervention in those countries could impact our business. These changes may affect interconnection arrangements, requirements for increased capital investments, prices our operating companies are able to charge for their services or foreign ownership limitations, among other things. For a more detailed description of the regulatory environment in each of the countries in which our managed operating companies conduct business, see the “Regulatory and Legal Overview” discussion for each of those operating companies under “— I. Operating Companies.”
 
H.  Foreign Currency Controls and Dividends
 
In some of the countries in which we operate, the purchase and sale of foreign currency is subject to governmental control. Additionally, local law in some of these countries may limit the ability of our operating companies to declare and pay dividends. Local law may also impose a withholding tax in connection with the payment of dividends. For a more detailed description of the foreign currency controls and dividend limitations and taxes in each of the countries in which our managed operating companies conduct business, see the “Foreign Currency Controls and Dividends” discussion for each of those operating companies under “— I. Operating Companies.”


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I.  Operating Companies
 
  1.  Mexico
 
Operating Company Overview.  We refer to our wholly-owned Mexican operating company, Comunicaciones Nextel de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., as Nextel Mexico. Several wholly-owned subsidiaries of Nextel Mexico provide digital mobile services under the trade name “Nextel” in the following major business centers with populations in excess of 1 million and along related transportation corridors:
 
Digital

Mexico City
Guadalajara
Puebla
Leon
Monterrey
Toluca
Tijuana
Torreon
Ciudad Juarez
 
Nextel Mexico is currently offering digital services in a number of smaller markets, including Acapulco, Aguascalientes, Cancun, Celaya, Irapuato, Salamanca, Chilpancingo, Cordoba, Cuernavaca, Guanajuato, Lagos de Morena, La Piedad, Nuevo Laredo, Orizaba, Queretaro, Cuautla, San Juan de Rio, Tlaxcala, Morelia, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Ensenada, Rosarito, Mexicali, Tecate, Saltillo, Valle de Bravo, San Miguel de Allende, Pachuca, Matamoros and Reynosa. In addition, Nextel Mexico continues to offer analog services in several other markets.
 
Nextel Mexico has licenses in markets covering more than 107 million people. As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Mexico provided service to about 1,119,800 digital handsets.
 
Nextel Mexico is headquartered in Mexico City and has 23 regional offices throughout Mexico. As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Mexico had 2,491 employees.
 
Marketing.  Nextel Mexico offers both a broad range of service options and pricing plans designed to meet the specific needs of its targeted business customers. It currently offers digital two-way radio only plans and integrated service plans, including two-way radio, interconnect and internet data services in its digital markets. Nextel Mexico also offers analog two-way radio in its analog markets. Nextel Mexico’s target customers are primarily businesses with mobile work forces.
 
Nextel Mexico markets its services through a distribution network that includes a variety of direct sales representatives and independent dealers. The development of alternate distribution channels has been a key factor in its commercial performance. Additionally, Nextel Mexico has used an advertising campaign supported by press, radio, magazines, billboards, television and direct marketing to develop brand awareness.
 
Competition.  Nextel Mexico’s digital mobile network competes with cellular and personal communications services system operators in its market areas.
 
The Mexican cellular and personal communications services market is divided into nine regions. The Secretary of Communications and Transportation of Mexico has issued 800 MHz cellular licenses in each region in the Cellular A-Band and the Cellular B-Band as well as 1900 MHz personal communications services licenses. In each region, Radiomovil Dipsa, S.A. de C.V., known as Telcel, and a subsidiary of America Movil, S.A. de C.V., in turn a subsidiary of Carso Global Telecom, S.A. de C.V., the holding company controlling Telefonos de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., known as Telmex, holds the Cellular B-Band concession and an additional personal communications services license throughout Mexico. Radiomovil Dipsa, S.A. de C.V. was the first wireless operator in the country. Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. holds the Cellular A-Band license in the Mexico City area and its surroundings and the regions covering most of the central and southern areas of Mexico, as well as personal communications services licenses throughout Mexico. A controlling stake


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in Iusacell was acquired by Biper S.A., an affiliate of Grupo Salinas. TV Azteca, a subsidiary of Grupo Salinas, is the joint controlling shareholder of Unefon, S.A. de C.V., which in turn is the controlling shareholder of Operadora Unefon, S.A. de C.V., which holds personal communications services licenses throughout Mexico. In the northern region of Mexico, cellular service is provided on the A-Band by operating companies owned by Telefonica S.A. and also owns a controlling interest in Pegaso PCS, S.A. de C.V., which has personal communications services licenses throughout Mexico. Telefonica S.A. is the second largest wireless operator in the country.
 
On January 10, 2005, the Mexican government began an auction for spectrum in the 806-821 MHz to 851-866 MHz frequency band. Inversiones Nextel de Mexico, a subsidiary of Nextel Mexico, participated in this auction. The spectrum auction was divided into three separate auctions: Auction 15 for Northern Mexico Zone 1, Auction 16 for Northern Mexico Zone 2 and Auction 17 for Central and Southern Mexico. The auctions were completed between February 7 and February 11. Nextel Mexico won an average of 15 MHz of nationwide spectrum, except for Mexico City, where no spectrum was auctioned off and where Nextel Mexico has licenses covering approximately 21 MHz. The corresponding licenses and immediate use of the spectrum were granted to Inversiones Nextel de Mexico on March 17, 2005. These new licenses have an initial term of 20 years and are renewable thereafter for 20 years. The spectrum licenses that Nextel Mexico acquired will allow it to significantly expand its digital mobile network over the next one to two years, thereby allowing it to cover a substantial portion of the Mexican national geography and population.
 
As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Mexico provided service to about 2% of the total digital wireless communications market in Mexico.
 
We believe that the most important factors upon which Nextel Mexico competes are customer service, a high quality network, brand recognition, consultative distribution channels and its differentiated services, primarily our Direct Connect service, which is available throughout all areas where Nextel Mexico provides digital service. While its competition generally targets the prepaid market, Nextel Mexico primarily targets businesses, and all of its subscribers are on postpaid contracts. Iusacell, Telcel, Telefonica and Unefon are now offering Push-to-Talk over Cellular services, which are similar to and compete with our Direct Connect service. However, as of December 31, 2005, these companies had not received regulatory approval to offer these services.
 
Regulatory and Legal Overview.  The Secretary of Communications and Transportation of Mexico regulates the telecommunications industry in Mexico. The Mexican Telecommunications Commission oversees specific aspects of the telecommunications industry on behalf of the Secretary of Communications and Transportation.
 
The existing telecommunications law, which went into effect in 1995, restricts foreign ownership in telecommunications to a maximum of 49% voting equity interest except for cellular telephony, which has no such restriction. However, most of the licenses held by Nextel Mexico prior to 2000, except for one license covering 10 channels along a major highway from Mexico City to Guadalajara, are not subject to the 49% foreign ownership limitation as such licenses were originally granted under the old telecommunications law that had no such limitation to foreign ownership. All of the licenses acquired by Nextel Mexico after January 1, 2000 are held through Inversiones Nextel de Mexico, a corporation with a capital structure known under applicable corporate law as “neutral stock,” in which Nextel Mexico owns approximately 99.99% of the economic interest, but only 49% of the voting shares. The remaining 51% of the voting shares in Inversiones Nextel de Mexico, which is held by one Mexican shareholder, is subject to a voting trust agreement and a shareholders’ agreement between Nextel Mexico and this shareholder that establish adequate corporate governance controls and locks to protect Nextel Mexico’s interests.
 
The current telecommunications law requires mandatory interconnection between all telecommunication networks under reciprocal terms and conditions when it is technically possible. Notwithstanding the foregoing, some telecommunications companies have had difficulty obtaining interconnection services under reciprocal terms and conditions from other telephone operators. Because Nextel Mexico operates under SMR licenses, it is not deemed to be a telephone operator and has not been granted telephone numbers. As a result, it is unclear whether Nextel Mexico is entitled to reciprocal interconnection terms and conditions with wireline and


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wireless public telephone networks. Meanwhile, to ensure its access to interconnection, Nextel Mexico entered into commercial agreements with other local, point to point and long distance carriers such as Alestra, Avantel, Axtel and Telmex that provide interconnection between Nextel Mexico’s networks and the public switched telephone network.
 
As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Mexico’s license-holding subsidiaries had filed with the Secretary of Communications and Transportation requests for renewal of 30 concessions. Although we do not foresee any problems with the renewal applications, there is no guarantee that such renewals will be granted.
 
Foreign Currency Controls and Dividends.  Because there are no foreign currency controls in place, Mexican currency is convertible into U.S. dollars and other foreign currency without restrictions. Mexican companies may distribute dividends and profits outside of Mexico if the Mexican company meets specified distribution and legal reserve requirements. A Mexican company with employees must distribute 10% of its pretax profits to employees and allocate 5% of net profits to the legal reserve until 20% of the stated capital is set aside. Under Mexican corporate law, approval of a majority of stockholders attending an ordinary stockholders’ meeting of a corporation is required to pay dividends. Dividends paid by Nextel Mexico to its U.S. stockholders are not currently subject to a withholding tax. Interest payments to U.S. residents are subject to a 15% withholding tax; interest payments to a U.S. financial institution registered with the Mexican tax authorities are subject to a 4.9% withholding tax; and interest payments to a U.S. fixed asset or machinery supplier registered with the Mexican tax authorities are subject to a 10% withholding tax.
 
Income Tax Legislation.  In December 2002, the Mexican government enacted tax legislation, effective as of January 1, 2003, that reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 34% in 2003 and further reduced that rate to 33% in 2004. In December 2004, the Mexican government enacted additional tax legislation, effective January 1, 2005, which reduced the corporate tax rate to 30% for 2005 and will further reduce the corporate tax rate to 29% for 2006 and 28% for 2007.
 
  2.  Brazil
 
Operating Company Overview.  We refer to our wholly-owned Brazilian operating company Nextel Telecomunicacoes Ltda., as Nextel Brazil. Nextel Brazil provides analog and digital mobile services under the tradename “Nextel” in the following major business centers with populations in excess of 1 million, along related transportation corridors, as well as in a number of smaller markets:
 
     
Digital   Analog
 
Rio de Janeiro
  Salvador
Sao Paulo
  Recife
Curitiba
  Fortaleza
Brasilia
  Porto Alegre
Belo Horizonte
   
Campinas
   
Sao Jose dos Campos
   
 
Nextel Brazil has licenses in markets covering about 137 million people. As a result of new licenses obtained throughout 2005, Nextel Brazil increased its population covered by licenses from 71 million to 137 million. As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Brazil provided service to about 637,600 digital handsets.
 
Nextel Brazil’s operations are headquartered in Sao Paulo, with branch offices in Rio de Janeiro and various other cities. As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Brazil had 1,739 employees.
 
Marketing.  Nextel Brazil offers both a broad range of service options and pricing plans primarily designed to meet the specific needs of its targeted business customers. It currently offers digital two-way radio only plans and integrated service plans, including two-way radio, interconnect and internet data services in its digital markets. Nextel Brazil also offers analog two-way radio in its analog markets. Nextel Brazil’s target customers are primarily businesses with mobile work forces.


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Nextel Brazil markets its services through a distribution network that includes a variety of direct sales representatives and independent dealers. The development of alternate distribution channels has been a key factor in its commercial performance. Additionally, Nextel Brazil has used an advertising campaign supported by press, radio, magazines, billboards, television, internet and direct marketing to develop brand awareness.
 
Competition.  Nextel Brazil competes with other analog SMR and cellular and personal communications services providers. The largest competitors are Vivo (a joint venture of Telefonica S.A. and Portugal Telecom S.A.) which has the largest market share in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area and Rio de Janeiro, as well as several other regional operators: Telecom Americas, which owns Claro and which is controlled by America Movil; Telecom Italia Mobile; TNL PCS S.A. (a personal communications services operating subsidiary of Telemar Norte Leste S.A., Brazil’s largest wireline incumbent, and which markets under the brand name “Oi”); and Brasil Telecom — GSM, a subsidiary of Brasil Telecom S.A. Nextel Brazil also competes with other regional cellular and wireless operators including Telemig Celular S.A. There are also several small SME operators as competitors in the analog market in different regions in Brazil.
 
As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Brazil provided service to about 1% of the total digital handsets in commercial service in Brazil.
 
We believe that the most important factors upon which Nextel Brazil competes are customer service, a high quality network, consultative distribution channels, a differentiated brand positioning and its differentiated services, primarily our Direct Connect service, which is available throughout all areas where Nextel Brazil provides digital service. While its competition generally targets the prepaid market, Nextel Brazil primarily targets small and medium-sized businesses with mobile workforces and high-end individuals. All of its subscribers are on post-paid contracts.
 
Regulatory and Legal Overview.  On April 27, 2000, Brazil’s telecommunications regulatory agency, Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, known as Anatel, approved new rules relating to SMR services in Brazil. These regulations were supplemented on September 26, 2001, with regulations relating to areas of authorization and, on October 17, 2001, with regulations regarding interconnect charges between mobile operators. As a result, Brazil began opening its markets to wider competition in the mobile wireless communications segment where we operate. The former regulations imposed various restrictions that significantly limited the ability of Nextel Brazil to provide digital mobile services to all potential customer groups.
 
Among others, the regulations issued in 2000 allowed affiliated companies to hold more than one license in the same service area, but still limited SMR licensees and their affiliates to a maximum holding of 10 MHz of spectrum in the same service area. Under those rules, Anatel was allowed to lift the spectrum restriction from 10 MHz up to 15 MHz in localities where the need for more spectrum would be duly justified. In the case of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the two largest and most congested metropolitan areas in Brazil, Anatel approved the increase in our spectrum to 15 MHz and published for comments regulations that would lift the restriction of 15 MHz in other cities. A revised SMR services regulation was approved by Anatel on May 5, 2005 under Resolution No. 404 and expressly revoked the April 27, 2000 rules. Under the current regulation, SMR operators and their affiliates are allowed to hold up to 15 MHz of spectrum in the same service area. In addition, the May 5, 2005 regulations annulled the former regulation relating to areas of authorization and replaced it with a new SMR Authorizations General Plan issued by Anatel under Resolution No. 405.
 
Although we believe that these regulations give us significantly greater flexibility to provide digital mobile services, we are still required to provide two-way radio as a basic service before we can provide any other service. For example, we cannot offer interconnection to the public telephone system without providing dispatch services.
 
On October 17, 2001, Anatel enacted certain rules that allow carriers to charge calling party pays charges. These regulations clarified, among other things, how SMR companies like Nextel Brazil would be paid by other companies if they wished to interconnect with Nextel Brazil’s network. These rules also allowed Nextel Brazil to amend its interconnection agreements to reflect the calling party pays charges. We have negotiated agreements with all significant fixed line and wireless operators in Brazil to reflect the additional payments


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between carriers as a result of the calling party pays charges. These agreements are subject to annual renewals. Calling party pays was also incorporated into the May 5, 2005 regulations, which, in addition, revoked and replaced the October 17, 2001 rules with new SMR network remuneration regulations, which were approved under Resolution No. 406.
 
Any company interested in obtaining new SMR licenses from Anatel must apply and present documentation demonstrating the technical, legal and financial qualifications. Anatel may communicate its intention to grant new licenses, as well as the terms and conditions applicable, such as the relevant price. Before granting any license, Anatel is required to publish an announcement in the official gazette. Any company willing to respond to Anatel’s invitation, or willing to render the applicable service in a given area claimed by another interested party, may have the opportunity to obtain a license. Whenever the number of claimants is larger than the available spectrum, Anatel is required to conduct competitive bidding to determine which interested party will be granted the available licenses.
 
A license for the right to provide SMR services is granted for an undetermined period of time. While the associated radio frequencies are licensed for a period of 15 years, they are renewable only once for an additional 15-year period. Renewal of the license is subject to rules established by Anatel. The renewal process must be filed at least three years before the expiration of the original term and must be decided by Anatel within 12 months of its filing. Anatel may deny a request for renewal of the license only if the applicant is not making rational and adequate use of the frequency, the applicant has committed repeated breaches in the performance of its activities, or there is a need to modify the radio frequency allocation.
 
The rules require that Nextel Brazil’s services comply with start-up terms and minimum service availability and quality requirements detailed in the regulations. Failure to meet Anatel’s requirements may result in forfeiture of the channels and revocation of licenses. We believe that Nextel Brazil is currently in compliance with the applicable operational requirements of its licenses in all material respects.
 
On May 12, 2004, Nextel Brazil received approval from Anatel to acquire the approximately 1,600 SMR channels held directly or indirectly by Mcomcast S.A. and Mcom Wireless S.A. and certain other license holders. The transaction was also approved by CADE, the Brazilian antitrust agency. As a result of both approvals, Nextel Brazil is authorized to use the channels in certain markets, including the cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and several other major markets. As a result of these transactions, Nextel Brazil was able to increase its holdings in the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to the maximum allowed spectrum of 15 MHz, as previously approved by Anatel.
 
On October 21, 2004, Anatel also approved the realignment spectrum plan for SMR channels in Brazil. As a result of this new spectrum plan, Nextel Brazil will be able to obtain 200 contiguous channels in each of the major digital markets, which may have a benefit of future technology implementation or upgrades. However, all SMR operators have five years to implement this new spectrum plan.
 
On March 23, 2005, Anatel approved the grant to Nextel Brazil of approximately 8,200 SMR channels, which will be used mainly to (i) expand its footprint in existing markets for their respective area code and (ii) provide SMR services in new cities.
 
On May 16, 2005, Anatel enacted certain substantive modifications to the Servico Movel Especializado, or SME, regulations that, among other things, have the effect of treating Nextel Brazil equal to all other Brazilian SMR and SME carriers with respect to billing for use of other mobile networks. These modifications to the SME regulations became immediately effective and resulted in savings for Nextel Brazil in relation to interconnect charges made by other carriers.
 
Foreign Currency Controls and Dividends.  The purchase and sale of foreign currency in Brazil is subject to governmental control. Until March 14, 2005, there were two foreign exchange markets in Brazil that were subject to regulation by the Central Bank of Brazil. The first was the commercial/financial floating exchange rate market. This market was reserved generally for trade-related transactions such as import and export, registered foreign currency investments in Brazil, and other specific transactions involving remittances abroad. The second foreign exchange market was the tourism floating exchange rate market. The commercial/financial exchange rate market was restricted to transactions that require prior approval by the Brazilian Central Bank.


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Both markets operated at floating rates freely negotiated between the parties. The purchase of currency for repatriation of capital invested in Brazil and for payment of dividends to foreign stockholders of Brazilian companies used to be made in the commercial/financial floating exchange rate market. Purchases for these purposes could only be made if the original investment of foreign capital and capital increases had been previously registered with the Brazilian Central Bank. There were no significant restrictions on the repatriation of registered share capital and remittance of dividends.
 
In spite of changes that have been implemented by the Brazilian Central Bank, the rules on repatriation of capital and payment of dividends have not changed. The purchase of currency for repatriation of capital invested in Brazil and for payment of dividends to foreign stockholders of Brazilian companies still may only be made if the original investment of foreign capital and capital increases were registered with the Brazilian Central Bank. There are no significant restrictions on the repatriation of registered share capital and remittance of dividends.
 
Nextel S.A., the Nextel Brazil subsidiary through which any dividend is expected to flow, has applied to the Brazilian Central Bank for registration of its investments in foreign currency. Nextel S.A. intends to structure future capital contributions to Brazilian subsidiaries to maximize the amount of share capital and dividends that can be repatriated through the exchange market. However, Nextel S.A. may not be able to repatriate share capital and dividends on foreign investments that have not been registered.
 
Brazilian law provides that the Brazilian government may, for a limited period of time, impose restrictions on the remittance by Brazilian companies to foreign investors of the proceeds of investments in Brazil. These restrictions may be imposed whenever there is a material imbalance or a serious risk of a material imbalance in Brazil’s balance of payments. The Brazilian government may also impose restrictions on the conversion of Brazilian currency into foreign currency. These restrictions may hinder or prevent us from purchasing equipment required to be paid for in any currency other than Brazilian reais. Under current Brazilian law, a company may pay dividends from current or accumulated earnings. Dividend payments from current earnings are not subject to withholding tax. Interest and payments other than principal amounts of foreign loans are generally subject to a 15% withholding tax, 25% in the case of payments made to companies located in a tax haven, as defined under the Brazilian legislation, and a 0.38% financial transactions tax.
 
  3.  Argentina
 
Operating Company Overview.  We refer to our wholly-owned Argentine operating company Nextel Communications Argentina S.A. (formerly, Nextel Argentina S.R.L.), as Nextel Argentina. Nextel Argentina provides digital mobile services under the tradename “Nextel” in the following major business centers with populations in excess of 1 million, along related transportation corridors, as well as in a number of smaller markets:
 
Digital

Buenos Aires
Cordoba
Rosario
Mendoza
 
Nextel Argentina has licenses in markets covering about 21 million people. As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Argentina provided service to about 500,200 digital handsets.
 
Nextel Argentina is headquartered in Buenos Aires and has regional offices in Mar del Plata, Rosario, Mendoza and Cordoba, and seven branches in Buenos Aires. As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Argentina had 990 employees.
 
Marketing.  Nextel Argentina offers both a broad range of service options and pricing plans primarily designed to meet the specific needs of its targeted business customers. It currently offers digital two-way radio only plans and integrated service plans, including two-way radio, interconnect, short messaging and internet


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data services in its markets. Nextel Argentina’s target customers are primarily businesses with mobile work forces.
 
Nextel Argentina markets its services through a distribution network that includes a variety of direct sales representatives and independent dealers. The development of alternate distribution channels has been a key factor in its commercial performance. Additionally, Nextel Argentina has used an advertising campaign supported by press, radio, magazines, billboards, television, internet and direct marketing to develop brand awareness.
 
Competition.  There are three cellular service providers in Argentina with which Nextel Argentina competes: the Telefonica Moviles Group, which owns both Compania de Radiocomunicaciones Moviles S.A. (previously Movicom) and Telefonica Comunicaciones Moviles S.A. (previously Unifon), both of which are commercially known as Movistar, Compania de Telefonos del Interior S.A., or CTI, which is owned by America Movil S.A. de C.V., and Telecom Personal S.A., or Personal, which is owned by Telecom Argentina S.A. All of these companies or their subsidiaries also hold personal communications services, or PCS, licenses that were auctioned off by the Argentine government in 1999. The cellular and PCS licenses each cover only a specific geographic area, but together, the licenses provide each company with national coverage. The grant of PCS licenses did not result in the entry of new competitors to the market because the licenses were awarded only to the existing providers of cellular telephone services. The licenses and associated frequencies provide existing cellular companies with increased spectrum capabilities and the ability to launch a wide range of wireless products. Affiliated companies of Movistar, CTI and Personal also hold wireline local and long distance telephone licenses. As a result of the purchase of Movicom by the Telefonica Moviles Group, and due to existing limitations in the amount of spectrum that a group may hold in any given geographical region or area (50 MHz maximum), Movistar may, in the near future, be forced to return approximately 45 MHz of spectrum in certain regions where it may exceed the 50 MHz limitation. This may create opportunities for existing carriers or new entrants to bid for such spectrum should such spectrum be auctioned off publicly. The Argentine government, however, has announced that this spectrum will be awarded to a new government sponsored mobile services company made up of existing telephone cooperatives. Although it was announced that the new company would begin operations during 2006, no new announcements have been made. In the specific SMR market, Nextel Argentina’s only major competitor is Movilink, which is now owned by the Telefonica Moviles Group. During 2005, Movistar and CTI launched Push-To-Talk over Cellular service.
 
As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Argentina provided service to about 3% of the total mobile handsets in commercial service in Argentina.
 
We believe that the most important factors upon which Nextel Argentina competes are customer service, a high quality network, brand recognition, consultative distribution channels and its differentiated services, primarily our Direct Connect service, which is available throughout all areas where Nextel Argentina provides digital service. While its competition generally targets the prepaid market, Nextel Argentina primarily targets small and medium-sized businesses with mobile workforces and high-end individuals. All of its subscribers are on post-paid contracts.
 
New telecommunications regulations aimed at opening the Argentine market to wider competition went into effect in November 2000. As a result, a number of new companies have obtained licenses to offer a variety of services, some of which have already started operations.
 
Regulatory and Legal Overview.  The Comision Nacional de Comunicaciones, referred to as the Argentina CNC, the Secretary of Communications of Argentina, and the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investments and Services are the Argentine telecommunications authorities responsible for the administration and regulation of the SMR industry.
 
SMR licenses have an indefinite term but are subject to revocation for violation of applicable regulatory rules. Argentina does not impose any limitation on foreign ownership of SMR licenses. Analog and digital mobile service must begin within 180 business days after receipt of channel assignment. Failure to meet service or loading requirements can result in revocation of the channel authorizations. The Argentina CNC may revoke SMR licenses upon the occurrence of a third breach by the licensee of service requirements. SMR


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licenses and channel authorizations also may be revoked for violation of other regulatory authority rules and regulations. Nextel Argentina believes it has satisfied all of its loading requirements on its existing spectrum position.
 
SMR providers are assured interconnection with the public switched telephone network according to the terms under which the channels were awarded, as well as under other applicable laws. Furthermore, interconnection with the public switched telephone network must be on a nondiscriminatory basis. Nextel Argentina provides interconnect services to its subscribers under interconnection agreements with Telefonica de Argentina S.A. and Telecom Argentina S.A., as well as other smaller local carriers. In May 1999, the Argentina CNC authorized Nextel Argentina to implement a calling party pays program with the fixed line carriers with whom it interconnects, which it has since implemented.
 
The tariffs for the SMR are freely fixed by the providers. Charges for calling party pays calls originating in fixed lines depend on a reference price set periodically by the Ministry.
 
In September 2000, Argentina’s president signed a decree that put into effect new telecommunications regulations. The purpose of the regulations is to guarantee the complete deregulation and free competition of the telecommunications industry in Argentina. The rules cover the following:
 
  •  Licenses of telecommunications services.  The regulations establish a single license system that allows the license holder to offer any and all types of telecommunications services. The licensee is free to choose the geographic area, technology and architecture through which its services will be provided. However, each specific service to be offered must be separately registered with the Secretary. Holders of existing telecommunications licenses, including holders of cellular, personal communications services and SMR licenses, are automatically deemed to have a universal license under the new regulatory scheme, and all services currently offered which had been previously approved by the regulatory authorities are treated as having been registered. However, to the extent an existing license holder wishes to offer a new service, the new service must be registered. In addition, existing license holders who acquired spectrum under a public bid or auction must continue to abide by the original terms and conditions under which the spectrum was granted.
 
The regulations do not impose any minimum investment, loading or other requirements on holders, but to obtain trunking frequencies they impose certain rules of origin that mandate that at least 30% of any new infrastructure be of Argentine origin (see “New Spectrum Regulations” below). Some requirements do apply to the launch of a new service, such as a requirement to launch the service within 18 months from the date of its registration. The grant of a license is independent of the resources required to provide a service and specifically does not include the right to the use of spectrum.
 
  •  Network interconnection.  The general principles of the interconnection regulations are:
 
       •  freedom of negotiation and agreement between the parties with respect to prices charged for interconnection, although the regulations include guidelines which are generally followed in practice and which can be imposed by the Secretary in the event of a dispute between parties;
 
       •  mandatory provision of interconnection with other carriers so long as interconnection is technically feasible;
 
       •  non-discrimination;
 
       •  reciprocal compensation; and
 
       •  maintenance of an open architecture to avoid conditions that would restrict the efficiency of interconnected operators.
 
All interconnection agreements entered into must be registered with the Argentina CNC. Additional requirements may be imposed on all dominant carriers to ensure that the Argentine telecommunications market is open to competition.


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  •  Universal service.  The regulations establish a levy equal to 1% of service revenue minus applicable taxes and specified related costs. The license holder can choose either to pay the resulting amount into a fund for universal service development or participate directly in offering services to specific geographical areas under an annual plan designed by the federal government, which is known as a pay or play system. Although regulations state that this levy would be applicable beginning January 1, 2001, the regulatory authorities have not taken the necessary actions to implement the levy. However, Resolution No. 99/05, dated May 5, 2005, issued by the Secretary of Communications prohibits telecommunications operators from itemizing the levy in customer invoices or passing through the levy to customers. In addition, following the Secretary’s instructions in July 2005, the Argentine CNC has ordered operators, including Nextel Argentina, to return the levy collected from customers, if any. Nextel Argentina filed legal actions challenging these regulations. On October 14, 2005, the Secretary of Communications issued Resolution No. 301/05, which rejected Nextel Argentina’s claim against Resolution No. 99/05. As a result, Nextel Argentina was ordered to reimburse the amounts collected as universal service contributions plus interest within a 15-day period. In November 2005, Nextel Argentina filed an administrative claim and requested a judicial injunction against this resolution. All current legal actions are pending. See Note 9 to our consolidated financial statements for more information.
 
  •  Administration of spectrum.  The regulations contain only general principles and guidelines with respect to the authorization of new spectrum and frequencies. To ensure the efficient and effective use of spectrum, the Secretary is empowered to partially or totally revoke awarded spectrum if it is not used, or if it is not used in accordance with the terms and conditions under which it was granted. Licenses and spectrum authorizations may not be transferred nor assigned, in whole or in part, without prior written approval of regulatory authorities. Prior authorization is also required upon a change of control as a result of the transfer of the licensee’s capital stock.
 
  •  Spectrum regulations.  In July 2001, the Secretary of Communications issued Resolution No. 235/01, modified by Resolution No. 262/05 SC, which established the rules under which new spectrum is awarded. New spectrum authorizations expire in 10 years. In April and October of each year, authorizations to operate channels are granted directly or by auction, depending on the number of available channels existing in each city. Resolution No. 262/05 SC also imposed certain rules of origin mandating telecommunications operators that are awarded with new spectrum authorizations to purchase at least 30% of new infrastructure from Argentinean source goods. The regulation is not clear as to the computation of this percentage. Nextel Argentina considers it has plausible arguments to eventually challenge this rule.
 
Foreign Currency Controls and Dividends.  On January 6, 2002, the Argentine Emergency Law No. 25,561 became effective and formally declared a public emergency in economic, administrative, financial and exchange control matters. The law empowered the Federal Executive Power to regulate those areas until December 10, 2003, subject to overview by the National Congress. The Emergency Law amended several provisions of the 1991 Convertibility Law No. 23,928, the most significant of which was to repeal the peg of the Argentine peso to the U.S. dollar. The effectiveness of the Argentine Emergency Law was extended through December 31, 2006.
 
On February 3, 2002, the Federal Executive Power issued Decree No. 214/2002, which reorganized Argentina’s financial system and converted the economy into Argentine pesos. All obligations to pay, of whatever origin, connected or not with the financial system, were converted into pesos at the exchange rate of one Argentine peso to one U.S. dollar. Moreover, deposits within the financial system were converted into pesos at the exchange rate of 1.40 Argentine pesos to one U.S. dollar. These obligations are subject to restatement.
 
Under existing law, contracts can provide for payment in foreign currency. However, due to an anti-evasion law, which requires all amounts over $1,000 to be paid by check, credit card, deposit or banking transfer, the legal possibility of entering into contracts in U.S. dollars remains, but the economic reality is that


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this would only serve to determine the amount of Argentine pesos that must be paid on the basis of the free exchange rate.
 
Pursuant to Decree No. 260/2002, the National Executive Power and the Argentine Central Bank have placed certain restrictions on the acquisition of foreign currency by Argentine and non-Argentine residents and on the inflow and outflow of capital to and from Argentina, including those for the purposes of repayment of principal and interest, dividend payments and repatriation of capital. In addition, there are specific guidelines that must be complied with in order to make any repayment of principal or interest to foreign creditors.
 
According to such regulations, payments of profits and dividends abroad may be carried out as long as they correspond to financial statements certified by external auditors. Moreover, repatriations of capital by non-Argentine residents without an Argentine Central Bank’s authorization are restricted to $5,000 U.S. dollars per month. This limitation does not apply to any repatriations of capital that are a result of a final divestiture, in which case, non-Argentine residents may transfer up to $2 million per month without requiring the Argentine Central Bank prior authorization.
 
On June 9, 2005, the Federal Executive Power issued Decree No. 616/2005, which introduced new restrictions to the transfer of funds to and from Argentina and created a mandatory deposit of 30% of the funds transferred to Argentina. Such decree provides that, under certain circumstances, Argentineans and foreign nationals transferring funds from abroad to Argentina are obligated to make a 365-day registered non-transferable non-interest bearing cash deposit equal to 30% of the funds transferred by them to Argentina. Among others, foreign direct investment that is not invested in the capital or stock markets is exempt from such restricted deposit requirement.
 
Under applicable Argentine corporate law, a company may pay dividends only from liquid and realized profits as shown on the company’s financial statements prepared in accordance with Argentine generally accepted accounting principles. Of those profits, 5% must be set aside until a reserve of 20% of the company’s capital stock has been established. Subject to these requirements, the balance of profits may be declared as dividends and paid in cash upon a majority vote of the stockholders. Under current law, dividend payments are not subject to withholding tax, except when the dividend payments are the result of profits paid out in excess of the profits computed for income tax purposes for the financial year preceding the date of the distribution of such dividends. If paid in this manner, a 35% withholding tax applies on the amount of the surplus. Interest payments are subject to withholding taxes ranging from 15.05% to 35%, unless tax treaty benefits apply.
 
  4.  Peru
 
Operating Company Overview.  We refer to our wholly-owned Peruvian operating company Nextel del Peru, S.A., as Nextel Peru. Nextel Peru provides digital mobile services under the tradename “Nextel” in the following major business centers with a population in excess of 1 million and along related transportation corridors:
 
Digital
Lima
Ancash
La Libertad
Lambayeque
Piura
 
Nextel Peru operates some parallel analog and digital mobile networks in the metropolitan area of Lima. It also operates an analog network in the metropolitan area of Arequipa. Nextel Peru launched digital mobile service in the greater Lima area in June 1999, and extended this service to the entire Department of Lima by March 2000 and to the Departments of Ica, Ancash and La Libertad by July 2001. In September 2000, Nextel Peru began offering analog services in the major business centers of Arequipa and Lima. In addition, Nextel Peru launched service in the Department of Lambayeque in January 2003, in the Department of Piura in April


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2004 and in the Department of Tumbes in May 2005. In December 2005, Nextel Peru obtained a nationwide SMR license.
 
Nextel Peru has licenses in markets covering about 15 million people. As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Peru provided service to about 248,500 digital handsets.
 
Nextel Peru is headquartered in Lima. As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Peru had 673 employees.
 
Marketing.  Nextel Peru offers both a broad range of service options and pricing plans primarily designed to meet the specific needs of its targeted business customers. It currently offers digital two-way radio only plans and integrated service plans, including two-way radio, interconnect and internet data services in its digital markets. Nextel Peru also offers analog two-way radio in its analog markets. Nextel Peru’s target customers are primarily businesses with mobile work forces.
 
Nextel Peru markets its services through a distribution network that includes a variety of direct sales representatives and independent dealers. The development of alternate distribution channels has been a key factor in its commercial performance. Additionally, Nextel Peru has used an advertising campaign supported by press, radio, magazines, billboards, television and direct marketing to develop brand awareness.
 
Competition.  Nextel Peru competes with all other providers of mobile services in Peru, including cellular operator Telefonica Moviles S.A., which, as of October 2004, acquired and consolidated with the company that was formerly known as BellSouth Peru S.A., and personal communications services provider America Movil Peru S.A.C., a subsidiary of Mexico’s America Movil, which in May 2005, won the “C” Band in the PCS services auction and, as of August 2005, acquired and consolidated with TIM Peru S.A.C. Telefonica Moviles S.A. provides nationwide coverage and operates under the brand name “MoviStar.” America Movil provides nationwide coverage and operates under the brand name “Claro.”
 
As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Peru provided service to about 5% of the total digital handsets in commercial service in Peru.
 
We believe that the most important factors upon which Nextel Peru competes are customer service, a high quality network, brand recognition, and its differentiated services, primarily our Direct Connect service, which is available throughout all areas where Nextel Peru provides digital service. Nextel Peru primarily targets mobile workforces, including large, mid-size and small corporations and their respective business networks.
 
Regulatory and Legal Overview.  The Organismo Supervisor de Inversion Privada en Telecomunicaciones of Peru, known as OSIPTEL, and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of Peru, referred to as the Peruvian Ministry of Communications, regulate the telecommunications industry in Peru. OSIPTEL oversees private investments and competition in the telecommunications industry. The Peruvian Ministry of Communications grants telecommunications licenses and issues regulations governing the telecommunications industry. In 1991, the Peruvian government began to deregulate the telecommunications industry to promote free and open competition. The Telecommunications Law of Peru, the general regulations under that law and the regulations issued by OSIPTEL govern the operation of SMR services in Peru, which is considered a public mobile service, in the same category as cellular and personal communications services operators.
 
In Peru, SMR service providers are granted 20-year licenses, which may be extended for an additional 20-year term, subject to compliance with the terms of the license. Licenses may be revoked before their expiration for violations of applicable regulatory and license requirements. Licensees must also comply with a minimum expansion plan that establishes the minimum loading and coverage requirements for the licensees, as well as spectrum targets under the licenses. We believe that Nextel Peru has met its loading and coverage requirements and has reached its spectrum targets.
 
Under the general regulations of Peru’s telecommunications law, all public telecommunications service providers have the right to interconnect to the networks of other providers of public telecommunications services. Furthermore, interconnection with these networks must be on an equal and nondiscriminatory basis. The terms and conditions of interconnection agreements must be negotiated in good faith between the parties in accordance with the interconnect regulations and procedures issued by OSIPTEL. Nextel Peru is presently


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interconnected with all major telecommunications operators in Peru, including Telefonica del Peru S.A.A., Telefonica Moviles S.A., American Movil Peru S.A.C. (formerly TIM Peru S.A.C.) and Telmex Peru S.A. (formerly AT&T Peru S.A.). Peru imposes no limitation on foreign ownership of SMR or paging licenses or licensees. In November 2005, OSIPTEL adopted regulations that resulted in savings in interconnect rates over a three-year period beginning January 1, 2006.
 
In 1998, Nextel Peru entered into a 10-year tax stability agreement with the Peruvian government that suspends its net operating loss carryforwards from expiring until Nextel Peru generates taxable income. Once Nextel Peru generates taxable income, Nextel Peru has four years to utilize those tax loss carryforwards and any taxable income in excess of the tax loss carryforwards will be taxed at 30%. During 2005, Nextel Peru generated taxable income and utilized a portion of the tax loss carryforwards. The remaining tax loss carryforwards in Peru will expire on December 31, 2008 if not used by that date. At this time, we believe it is more likely than not that these tax loss carryforwards will be fully utilized prior to their expiration.
 
Foreign Currency Controls and Dividends.  Under current law, Peruvian currency is freely convertible into U.S. dollars without restrictions. Peru has a free exchange market for all foreign currency transactions. On October 1, 1998, Nextel Peru executed a legal stability agreement with the Peruvian government, which, among other things, guarantees free conversion of foreign currency for Nextel Peru and its stockholders for a term of 10 years.
 
The payment and amount of dividends on Nextel Peru’s common stock is subject to the approval of a majority of the stockholders at a mandatory meeting of its stockholders. According to Peruvian corporate law, the stockholders may decide on the distribution of interim dividends or, alternatively, delegate the decision to the board of directors. Dividends are also subject to the availability of profits, determined in accordance with Peruvian generally accepted accounting principles. Profits are available for distribution only after 10% of pre-tax profits have been allocated for mandatory employee profit sharing and 10% of the net profits have been set aside to constitute a legal reserve. This reserve is not available for use except to cover losses in the profit and loss statement. This reserve obligation remains until the legal reserve constitutes 20% of the capital stock once this legal reserve has been met, the balance of the net profits is available for distribution.
 
  5.  Chile
 
Operating Companies Overview.  We own 100% of the equity interests in two analog trunking companies in Chile, Centennial Cayman Corp. Chile S.A. and Multikom S.A. We provide and market our analog two-way radio service under the brandnames “Centennial” and “Multikom”. In the future, we intend to build and deploy a small scale digital system in Santiago and market such services under the brandname “Centennial.” These operating companies provide analog services in the following major business centers with populations in excess of 1 million and along related transportation corridors:
 
Analog
Santiago
 
Our Chilean companies have licenses in markets covering about 16 million people. As of December 31, 2005, these companies in Chile provided services to about 4,600 analog handsets.
 
These companies are headquartered in Santiago, Chile. As of December 31, 2005, these companies had 28 employees.
 
Our Chilean companies currently offer exclusively analog two-way radio services, focusing on small and medium size companies. We have received regulatory approvals to deploy a digital mobile network, which we expect to deploy during 2006 in order to launch a digital two-way radio service. For additional information, see “— Regulatory and Legal Overview.”
 
Competition.  Presently, there are no providers of digital SMR services in Chile. Competitors in the analog SMR business in Chile are Gallyas S.A., Mobilink S.A. and Sharfstein, S.A.
 
There are also three mobile telephone service providers authorized to operate throughout Chile. These providers are Entel Chile, Telefonica Moviles de Chile S.A. and Smartcom S.A.


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Entel Chile, which was formerly controlled by Telecom Italia Movil, or TIM, has been controlled by Chilean national investors since 2005 and, through its subsidiaries Entel PCS Telecomunicaciones S.A. and Entel Telefonica Movil S.A., operates two 30MHz concessions in the 1900MHz band with GSM technology.
 
Telefonica Moviles de Chile S.A., also known by its commercial name, Movistar, is controlled by Telefonica Moviles S.A. of Spain and operates one 25MHz concession in the 800MHz band with TDMA technology and one 20MHz concession in the 1900MHz band with GSM/GPRS technology. Additionally, through the acquisition of all of the assets of BellSouth Chile, S.A., since January 2005, Telefonica Moviles de Chile S.A. also operates one 25MHz concession in the 800MHz band with TDMA technology and one 10MHz concession in the 1900 MHz band with CDMA technology. Due to the high spectrum concentration that resulted from this acquisition, in January 2005, the Tribunal for the Defense of Free Competition, also known as the Antitrust Court, ordered Telefonica Moviles de Chile S.A. to transfer one concession of 25MHz in the 800MHz band. The Antitrust Court gave Telefonica Moviles de Chile S.A. an 18-month term from January 2005 to close the transfer.
 
Telefonica Moviles de Chile S.A. is currently offering a service commonly known as PTT Movistar. This service, which is based in Push-To-Talk over Cellular technology, is competitive with our Direct Connect service.
 
Finally, Smartcom S.A. is the third mobile operator in Chile. Smartcom S.A. was formerly owned by Endesa and was acquired by America Movil on August 2, 2005. Smartcom S.A. operates a 30MHz concession in the 1900MHz band under the trademark “Smartcom”.
 
Regulatory and Legal Overview.  The main regulatory agency of the Chilean telecommunications sector is the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications (the Ministry), which acts primarily through the Undersecretary of Telecommunications (the Undersecretary). The application, control and interpretation of the provisions of the General Telecommunications Law and other applicable regulations are the responsibilities of the Ministry, which usually acts through the Undersecretary for these purposes. The decisions of the Ministry and the Undersecretary are subject to review by the Judiciary and the Chilean Antitrust Court.
 
Public telecommunications services concessions, including SMR concessions, may be granted only to legal entities duly incorporated and domiciled in Chile. However, there is no restriction or limitation on the participation or ownership of foreign investors in Chilean public telecommunications services concessionaires.
 
As a general rule, telecommunications concessions are granted in Chile without any initial payment of fees. However, telecommunications concessionaires that are granted the right to use the radioelectric spectrum for the operation of their respective concessions, such as SMR concessionaires, are subject to a spectrum annual fee. The amount of the fee is based on the size of the applicable system, the portion of the spectrum utilized and the service area that has been authorized.
 
Telecommunications concessions are not limited as to their number, type of service or geographical area. Therefore, it is possible to grant two or more concessions for the provision of the same service on the same location, except where technical limitations exist. Concessions for the provision of public telecommunications services are generally granted for a 30-year period. These concessions may be renewed for additional 30-year periods if requested by the concessionaire.
 
In Chile, concessionaires of public telecommunications services and concessionaires of long distance telephonic services are required by law to establish and accept interconnections with each other. These interconnections allow subscribers and users of public telecommunications services of the same type to make and receive calls from and to the public switched telephone network inside and outside of Chile. Telecommunications services of the same type are all those that are technically compatible with each other. The Undersecretary determines which telecommunications services are technically compatible. The interconnection must be performed according to the technical rules, procedures and terms established by the Undersecretary. The Undersecretary has issued regulations relating to the interconnection of public telephone networks with other public telecommunications services of the same type. On January 31, 2001, the Undersecretary published a new technical rule related to the provision of digital SMR services. However, under these regulations, even if services are determined to be of the same type, providers of public telecommunications services may not be


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interconnected to the public telephone networks unless their concessions expressly authorize interconnection, which in many cases, including some of ours, requires an amendment to the concession.
 
Additionally, under new regulations, providers of public telecommunications services of the same type that are authorized to be interconnected with public telephone networks are also able to request the assignment of specific numbering blocks for their subscribers. New rules governing routing procedures have also been adopted. As with interconnection, a provider of public telecommunications services of the same type must be specifically authorized in its concessions to interconnect before obtaining numbering. Our operating companies have been granted numbering blocks.
 
SMR concessionaires may freely determine the fees charged to their subscribers. However, the fees and tariffs charged by a telecommunications concessionaire to other telecommunications concessionaires for the services rendered through interconnections, including the access fees, must be fixed by the authorities. The authorities fix the access fees in accordance with a tariff-setting procedure based upon, among other things, the cost structure, including expansion plans, of an efficient concessionaire, as set forth in the General Telecommunications Law. This procedure is necessary for the mandatory application of the calling-party-pays system among the telecommunications concessionaires. The tariff-setting procedure for our operating companies began on August 19, 2004 and ended on July 22, 2005 when the Minister of Transports and Telecommunications jointly with the Minister of Economy issued two Tariff Decrees, one for each operating company. These Tariff Decrees will be in effect for five years from its publication in the official Gazette, which occurred on September 12, 2005.
 
In order to provide digital SMR services in Chile, incorporate digital technology to the networks of our Chilean operating companies and obtain the corresponding authorization to interconnect such networks to the publicly switched telephone network, in 2001, our Chilean operating companies have filed for the amendment of a group of SMR concessions totaling 130 channels according to the procedures established in the General Telecommunications Law. In accordance with these procedures, third parties exercised the right to file oppositions against the corresponding concession’s amendment applications. The Ministry rejected all such oppositions and granted us the requested amendment to such concessions, authorizing the deployment of an iDEN network and to interconnect such network to the publicly switched telephone network. Appeals of the Ministry’s resolution rejecting the oppositions and granting the requested amendments were filed before the Court of Appeals of Santiago and later, before the Supreme Court, and were rejected at both stages. On April 26, 2004, the decrees amending the concessions where published in the official gazette ending the amendment process.
 
Since the publication in the official gazette of the new decrees amending our analog concessions and authorizing us to offer digital service, we originally had a period of 14 to 28 months to build the network. However, in April 2005, we obtained a two-year extension of the build-out deadline. If the digital network is not built within this extended timeframe and we cannot obtain a new extension, we may be sanctioned by the Chilean authorities with a written admonition or fines up to approximately US $52,934, and potentially lose our authorization to install, operate and render digital service in Santiago and Valparaiso. If we lose the authorization, we would be able to request it again. The granting of the new authorization, however, would be again subject to third party oppositions.
 
On November 21, 2002, the 29th Civil Court of Santiago issued two judgments which declared as void concessions totaling 150 channels in Santiago owned by our operating companies, Centennial Cayman Corporation Chile S.A. and Multikom S.A., pursuant to a claim by the competition that these channels were not originally awarded through public auction. We appealed these judgments on December 3, 2002, and this appeal was dismissed in December 2004. The Chilean government and our Chilean companies filed a special remedy before the Supreme Court to overturn this ruling. The case is currently pending before the Supreme Court. In the event that the Supreme Court does not overturn the ruling, we cannot be sure of the impact that a final negative decision could have on our operations. These 150 channels are not part of the 130 channels to which digitalization and interconnection has already been granted and which we expect to deploy during 2006.
 
Foreign Currency Controls and Dividends.  The purchase and sale of foreign currency in Chile is not subject to governmental control. Accordingly, any person may freely engage in foreign exchange transactions.


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There are two foreign exchange markets in Chile. The first is the formal exchange market, which is subject to the regulations of the Chilean Central Bank and which consists of banks and other entities authorized to participate in the market by the Central Bank. This market is generally used for trade-related transactions, such as import and export transactions, regulated foreign currency investments and other transactions, such as remittances abroad. Purchases and sales of foreign exchange may be effected in the formal or the informal exchange markets. The informal exchange market consists of entities not expressly authorized to operate in the formal exchange market, such as foreign exchange houses and travel agencies. Both markets operate at floating rates freely negotiated between the participants. There are no limits imposed on the extent to which the informal exchange rate can fluctuate above or below the formal exchange rate or the observed exchange rate. The observed exchange rate is the official exchange rate determined each day by the Central Bank based on the average exchange rates observed in the formal exchange market.
 
Foreign investments in Chile are subject to exchange controls. The investment of capital exceeding US $10,000 in Chile and the repatriation of the investment and its profits must be carried out under either Decree Law No. 600 or under Chapter XIV of the Compendium of Foreign Exchange Regulations issued by the Central Bank of Chile under the Central Bank Act. Foreign funds registered under Decree Law No. 600 provide specified guarantees with respect to the ability to repatriate funds and the stability of the applicable tax regime. Decree Law No. 600 permits foreign investors to access the formal exchange market to repatriate their investments and profits.
 
Access to the formal exchange market to repatriate investments and profits derived from investments conducted under Chapter XIV rules are governed by regulations in force and effect at the time of repatriation.
 
The foreign investment regulations may permit foreign investors to access the formal exchange market to repatriate their investments and profits as stated above. They do not, however, necessarily guarantee that foreign currency will be available in the market.
 
Under Chilean corporate law, corporations, such as our Chilean companies, may distribute dividends among their stockholders only from the net profits of a specific fiscal year or from retained profits recognized by balance sheets approved by the stockholders’ meeting. However, if the company has accumulated losses, profits of that corporation must first be allocated to cover the losses. Losses in a specific fiscal year must be offset with retained profits, if any.
 
Unless otherwise agreed at a stockholders meeting by the unanimous vote of all issued shares, publicly traded corporations must annually distribute at least 30% of the net profits of each fiscal year. This distribution must be in the form of a cash dividend to their stockholders in proportion to their ownership or as otherwise stated in the bylaws. Privately held corporations, such as our Chilean operating companies, must follow the provisions of their bylaws; if the bylaws do not contain these provisions, the rules described above for the distribution of profits by publicly traded stock corporations apply. As a general rule, any dividend distributed or remitted by the operating companies to their shareholders abroad will be subject to a 35% withholding tax rate. In such a case, the operating companies’ shareholders will be entitled to a tax credit equivalent to the corporate tax rate paid by the operating companies on the income distributed or remitted abroad. Such corporate tax rate is equivalent to 17%. This credit must be added back in order to compute the taxable basis of the withholding tax.
 
In any event, the board of directors may distribute provisional dividends if the corporation has no accumulated losses, subject to the personal responsibility of the directors approving the distributions.
 
J.  Employees
 
As of December 31, 2005, we had 117 employees at the corporate level, and our operating companies had about 5,900 employees. Our Brazilian operating company is a party to a collective bargaining agreement that covers all of its employees and expires on April 30, 2006. Neither we nor any of our other operating companies is a party to any collective bargaining agreement. We believe the relationship between us and our employees, and between each of our operating companies and its employees, is good.


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Investors should be aware of various risks, including the risks described below. Our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected by any of these risks. The trading price of our common stock could decline due to any of these risks, and investors may lose all or part of any investment. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including the risks faced by us described below and included elsewhere. Please note that additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business and operations.
 
 
Our success will depend on the ability of our operating companies to compete effectively with other telecommunications services providers, including wireline companies and other wireless telecommunications companies, in the markets in which they operate.
 
Some of our competitors are financially stronger than we are, which may limit our ability to compete based on price.
 
Because of their resources, and in some cases ownership by larger companies, some of our competitors may be able to offer services to customers at prices that are below the prices that our operating companies can offer for comparable services. If we cannot compete effectively based on the price of our service offerings, our results of operations may be adversely affected. For example, many of our competitors are well-established companies that have:
 
  •  substantially greater financial and marketing resources;
 
  •  larger customer bases;
 
  •  better name recognition;
 
  •  bundled service offerings;
 
  •  larger spectrum positions; and
 
  •  larger coverage areas than those of our operating companies.
 
Further, significant price competition could negatively impact our operating results and our ability to attract and retain customers. In addition, we anticipate that our operating companies will continue to face market pressure to reduce the prices charged for their products and services because of increased competition in our markets.
 
Our operating companies may face disadvantages when competing against formerly government-owned incumbent wireline operators or wireless operators affiliated with them.
 
In some markets, our operating companies may not be able to compete effectively against a formerly government-owned monopoly telecommunications operator, which today enjoys a near monopoly on the provision of wireline telecommunications services and may have a wireless affiliate or may be controlled by shareholders who also control a wireless operator. Our operating companies may be at a competitive disadvantage in these markets because formerly government-owned incumbents or affiliated competitors may have:
 
  •  close ties with national regulatory authorities;
 
  •  control over connections to local telephone lines; or
 
  •  the ability to subsidize competitive services with revenues generated from services they provide on a monopoly or near-monopoly basis.


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Our operating companies may encounter obstacles and setbacks if local governments adopt policies favoring these competitors or otherwise afford them preferential treatment. As a result, our operating companies may be at a competitive disadvantage to incumbent providers, particularly as our operating companies seek to offer new telecommunications services.
 
Our coverage is not as extensive as those of other wireless service providers in our markets, which may limit our ability to attract and retain customers.
 
Since our digital mobile networks do not offer nationwide coverage in the countries in which we operate and our technology limits our potential roaming partners, we may not be able to compete effectively with cellular and personal communications services providers in our markets. Many of the cellular and personal communications services providers in our markets have networks with substantially more extensive areas of service. Additionally, many of these providers have entered into roaming agreements with each other, which permit these providers to offer coverage to their subscribers in each other’s markets. The iDEN technology that we deploy is not compatible with other wireless technologies such as digital cellular or personal communications services technologies or with other iDEN networks not operating in the 800 MHz spectrum. As a result, with the exception of GSM 900 MHz systems, we cannot enter into roaming agreements with the operators of these other networks. Although the i2000 digital phone that we sell is compatible with both iDEN 800 MHz and GSM 900 MHz systems, our customers will not be able to roam on other iDEN 800 MHz or GSM 900 MHz systems where we do not have a roaming agreement. As a result, we will not be able to provide coverage to our subscribers outside of our currently operating digital markets until:
 
  •  other operators deploy iDEN 800 MHz or GSM 900 MHz technology in markets outside of our coverage areas and we enter into roaming agreements with those operators; or
 
  •  handsets that can be used on both iDEN 800 MHz and non-GSM 900 MHz wireless communications networks become available and we enter into roaming agreements with the operators of those networks.
 
If we do not keep pace with rapid technological changes, we may not be able to attract and retain customers.
 
The wireless telecommunications industry is experiencing significant technological change. Future technological advancements may enable other wireless technologies to equal or exceed our current level of service and render iDEN technology obsolete. If Motorola, the sole supplier of iDEN technology, is unable or unwilling to upgrade or improve iDEN technology or develop other technology to meet future advances in competing technologies on a timely basis, or at an acceptable cost, we will be less able to compete effectively and could lose customers to our competitors. In addition, competition among the differing wireless technologies could:
 
  •  segment the user markets, which could reduce demand for our technology; and
 
  •  reduce the resources devoted by third-party suppliers, including Motorola, which supplies all of our current digital mobile technology, to developing or improving the technology for our systems.
 
If our wireless communications technology does not perform in a manner that meets customer expectations, we will be unable to attract and retain customers.
 
Customer acceptance of the services we offer is and will continue to be affected by technology-based differences and by the operational performance and reliability of our digital mobile networks. We may have difficulty attracting and retaining customers if we are unable to address and resolve satisfactorily performance or other transmission quality issues as they arise or if these issues:
 
  •  limit our ability to expand our network coverage or capacity as currently planned; or
 
  •  place us at a competitive disadvantage to other wireless service providers in our markets.


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Our equipment is more expensive than that of some competitors, which may affect our ability to establish and maintain a significant subscriber base.
 
We currently market multi-function digital handsets, and Motorola is the sole supplier of all our handsets. The higher cost of our equipment may make it more difficult for us to attract customers. In addition, the higher cost of our handsets requires us to absorb a comparatively larger part of the cost of offering handsets to new and existing customers. These higher costs of handsets place us at a competitive disadvantage and may reduce our growth and profitability.
 
We may lose a competitive advantage because our competitors are providing two-way radio dispatch and other services.
 
We differentiate ourselves by providing two-way radio dispatch “push-to-talk” services. Several of our competitors have introduced Push-To-Talk over Cellular service, which is a walkie-talkie type of service similar to our Direct Connect service. In addition, we do not have short messaging system (SMS) interoperability agreements in all our markets. Consequently, our competitive advantage may be impaired.
 
 
Motorola is currently our sole source for most of the digital network equipment and all of the handsets used throughout our markets. In addition, iDEN technology is a proprietary technology of Motorola, meaning that there are no other suppliers of this technology, and it is the only widespread, commercially available digital technology that operates on non-contiguous spectrum. Much of the spectrum that our operating companies hold in each of the markets we serve is non-contiguous. The non-contiguous nature of our spectrum may make it more difficult for us to migrate to a new technology if we choose to do so. Additionally, if Motorola fails to deliver system infrastructure equipment and handsets or enhancements on a timely, cost-effective basis, we may not be able to adequately service our existing customers or add new customers. Nextel Communications, a subsidiary of SprintNextel Corporation, is the largest customer of Motorola with respect to iDEN technology and provides significant support with respect to new product development. Nextel Communications and Sprint merged on August 12, 2005, and as a result, Nextel Communications became a subsidiary of Sprint Nextel. The new combined company had previously announced plans to migrate Nextel’s push-to-talk services to a next generation CDMA network platform. Nextel Communications had also announced an agreement with Motorola for a three-year extension of its iDEN infrastructure supply agreement and handset purchase agreement, with certain modifications. Any decrease by Nextel Communications in its use of iDEN technology could significantly increase our costs for equipment and new developments and could impact Motorola’s decision to continue to support iDEN technology. In the event Motorola determines not to continue manufacturing, supporting or enhancing our iDEN based infrastructure and handsets, because Nextel Communications decreases its use of iDEN technology or otherwise, we may be materially adversely affected. We expect to continue to rely principally on Motorola for the manufacture of a substantial portion of the equipment necessary to construct, enhance and maintain our digital mobile networks and for the manufacture of handsets for the next several years.
 
  We operate exclusively in foreign markets, and our assets, customers and cash flows are concentrated in Latin America, which presents risks to our operating and financing plans.
 
We face political and economic risks in our markets, which may limit our ability to implement our strategy and our financial flexibility and may disrupt our operations.
 
The countries in which we operate are considered to be emerging markets. Although political, economic and social conditions differ in each country in which we currently operate, political and economic developments in one country may affect our business as a whole, including our access to international capital markets. Negative developments or unstable conditions in the countries in which we operate or in other emerging market countries could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In Peru, for example, there was significant terrorist activity in the 1980s and the early 1990s. During that time, anti-government groups escalated violence against the government, the private sector and


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Peruvian residents. Incidents of terrorist activity continue to occur. Similar outbreaks of terrorism or political violence have occurred in Mexico and other countries in which we operate. In addition, in 2001, after prolonged periods of recession followed by political instability, the Argentine government announced it would not service its public debt. In order to address the worsening economic and social crisis, the Argentine government abandoned its decade-old fixed Argentine peso-U.S. dollar exchange rate, allowing the currency to float to market levels.
 
During 2006, there will be presidential elections held in three of our major markets. We are unable to predict the impact that presidential or other contested local or national elections and the associated transfer of power from incumbent officials or political parties to elected victors, may have on the local economy or the growth and development of the local telecommunications industry. Changes in leadership or in the ruling party in the countries in which we operate may affect the economic programs developed under the prior administration, which in turn, may adversely affect the economies in the countries in which we operate and our business operations and prospects in these countries.
 
Due to our significant operations in Argentina and Brazil, our business is particularly exposed to risks associated with adverse economic and political conditions in those countries.
 
In recent years, both Argentina and Brazil have been negatively affected by volatile economic and political conditions. These volatile conditions pose risks for our business. In particular, the volatility of the Argentine peso and the Brazilian real has affected our recent financial results. The depreciation of the currencies in Argentina and Brazil in 2002 had a material negative impact on our financial results.
 
Argentina.  After a prolonged period of recession, followed by political instability, Argentina announced in December 2001 that it would impose tight restrictions on bank accounts, would not service its public sector debt and suspended foreign currency trading. In January 2002, the Argentine government abandoned its decade-old fixed Argentine peso-U.S. dollar exchange rate. The resulting depreciation of the Argentine peso against the U.S. dollar during the 2002 calendar year was 66%. A depreciation of the Argentine peso generally affects our consolidated financial statements by generating a foreign currency transaction loss on U.S. dollar-denominated debt. Until October 31, 2002, the liabilities of our Argentine operating company included U.S. dollar-denominated secured debt, for which we recognized foreign currency transaction losses of $137.5 million for the ten months ended October 31, 2002. A depreciation of the Argentine peso also affects our consolidated financial statements by reducing the translation rate of all Argentine peso-denominated balances. To the extent net income is generated by our Argentine operating company, the amount would be reduced by a depreciation of the Argentine peso.
 
Brazil.  The Brazilian economy has been characterized by frequent and occasionally drastic intervention by the Brazilian government and by volatile economic cycles. The Brazilian government has often changed monetary, taxation, credit, tariff and other policies to influence the course of Brazil’s economy. In early 1999, the Brazilian government allowed the Brazilian real to float freely, resulting in a 32% depreciation against the U.S. dollar that year. In 2002, the Brazilian real depreciated against the U.S. dollar by 18%.
 
In addition, economic and market conditions in other emerging markets can influence the perception of Brazil’s economic and political situation.
 
We are subject to fluctuations in currency exchange rates and limitations on the expatriation or conversion of currencies, which may result in significant financial charges, increased costs of operations or decreased demand for our products and services.
 
Nearly all of our revenues are earned in non-U.S. currencies, while a significant portion of our capital and operating expenditures, including imported network equipment and handsets, and substantially all of our outstanding debt, is priced in U.S. dollars. In addition, we report our results of operations in U.S. dollars. Accordingly, fluctuations in exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar could have a material adverse effect on our earnings or assets. For example, the 1999 and 2002 currency devaluations in Brazil resulted in significant charges against our earnings in 1999 and 2002 and negative adjustments to the carrying value of our assets in Brazil. The economic upheaval in Argentina in 2002 led to the unpegging of the Argentine peso to the U.S. dollar exchange rate and the subsequent significant devaluation of the Argentine peso, which resulted in


28


 

charges against our earnings in 2002 and negative adjustments to the carrying values of our assets in Argentina.
 
Any depreciation of local currencies in the countries in which our operating companies conduct business may result in increased costs to us for imported equipment and may, at the same time, decrease demand for our products and services in the affected markets. If our operating companies distribute dividends in local currencies in the future, the amount of cash we receive will also be affected by fluctuations in exchange rates and currency devaluations. In addition, some of the countries in which we have operations do or may restrict the expatriation or conversion of currency.
 
Our operating companies are subject to fluctuating economic conditions in the local markets in which they operate, which could hurt their performance.
 
Our operations depend on the economies of the markets in which our operating companies conduct business. These markets are in countries with economies in various stages of development or structural reform, some of which are subject to rapid fluctuations in terms of commodity prices, local consumer prices, employment levels, gross domestic product, interest rates and inflation rates. If these fluctuations have an effect on the ability of customers to pay for our products and services, our business may be adversely affected. As a result, our operating companies may experience lower demand for their products and services and a decline in the growth of their customer base and in revenues.
 
Some of our operating companies conduct business in countries where the rate of inflation is significantly higher than in the United States. Any significant increase in the rate of inflation in any of these countries may not be completely or partially offset by corresponding price increases implemented by our operating companies, even over the long term.
 
Our operating companies are subject to local laws and customs in the countries in which they operate, which could impact our financial results.
 
Our operations are subject to local laws and customs in the countries in which we operate, which may differ from those in the U.S. We could become subject to legal penalties in foreign countries if we do not comply with local laws and regulations, which may be substantially different from those in the United States. In some foreign countries, particularly in those with developing economies, persons may engage in business practices that are prohibited by United States regulations applicable to us such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Although we implement policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with these laws, there can be no assurance that all of our employees, consultants, contractors and agents will not take actions in violations of our policies. Any such violation, even if prohibited by our policies, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
 
We pay significant import duties on our network equipment and handsets, and any increases could impact our financial results.
 
Our operations are highly dependent upon the successful and cost-efficient importation of network equipment and handsets from North America and, to a lesser extent, from Europe and Asia. Any significant increase in import duties in the future could significantly increase our costs. To the extent we cannot pass these costs on to our customers, our financial results will be negatively impacted. In the countries in which our operating companies conduct business, network equipment and handsets may be subject to significant import duties and other taxes.
 
We are subject to foreign taxes in the countries in which we operate, which may reduce amounts we receive from our operating companies or may increase our tax costs.
 
Many of the foreign countries in which we operate have increasingly turned to new taxes, as well as aggressive interpretations of current taxes, as a method of increasing revenue. For instance, Brazil has a tax on financial transactions, certain provinces in Argentina adopted higher tax rates on telecommunications services in 2001, and Argentina adopted a federal universal services tax in 2001. The provisions of new tax laws may attempt to prohibit us from passing these taxes on to our customers. These taxes may reduce the amount of earnings that we can generate from our services.


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Distributions of earnings and other payments, including interest, received from our operating companies may be subject to withholding taxes imposed by some countries in which these entities operate. Any of these taxes will reduce the amount of after-tax cash we can receive from those operating companies.
 
In general, a U.S. corporation may claim a foreign tax credit against its Federal income tax expense for foreign withholding taxes and, under certain circumstances, for its share of foreign income taxes paid directly by foreign corporate entities in which the company owns 10% or more of the voting stock. Our ability to claim foreign tax credits is, however, subject to numerous limitations, and we may incur incremental tax costs as a result of these limitations or because we do not have U.S. Federal taxable income.
 
We may also be required to include in our income for U.S. Federal income tax purposes our proportionate share of specified earnings of our foreign corporate subsidiaries that are classified as controlled foreign corporations, without regard to whether distributions have been actually received from these subsidiaries.
 
Nextel Brazil has received tax assessment notices from state and federal Brazilian tax authorities asserting deficiencies in tax payments related primarily to value added taxes, import duties and matters surrounding the definition and classification of equipment and services. Nextel Brazil has filed various petitions disputing these assessments. In some cases we have received favorable decisions, which are currently being appealed by the respective governmental authorities. In other cases, our petitions have been denied and we are currently appealing those decisions. We currently estimate the range of possible losses related to matters for which Nextel Brazil has not accrued liabilities, as they are not deemed probable, to be between $74.1 million and $78.1 million as of December 31, 2005.
 
We have entered into a number of agreements that are subject to enforcement in foreign countries, which may limit efficient dispute resolution.
 
A number of the agreements that we and our operating companies enter into with third parties are governed by the laws of, and are subject to dispute resolution in the courts of or through arbitration proceedings in, the countries or regions in which the operations are located. We cannot accurately predict whether these forums will provide effective and efficient means of resolving disputes that may arise. Even if we are able to obtain a satisfactory decision through arbitration or a court proceeding, we could have difficulty enforcing any award or judgment on a timely basis. Our ability to obtain or enforce relief in the United States is also uncertain.
 
 
In each market in which we operate, one or more regulatory entities regulate the licensing, construction, acquisition, ownership and operation of our wireless communications systems. Adoption of new regulations, changes in the current telecommunications laws or regulations or changes in the manner in which they are interpreted or applied could adversely affect our operations. Because of the uncertainty as to the interpretation of regulations in some countries in which we operate, we may not always be able to provide the services we have planned in each market. In some markets, we are unable, or have limitations on our ability, to offer some services, such as interconnection to other telecommunications networks and participation in calling party pays programs, which may increase our net costs. Further, the regulatory schemes in the countries in which we operate allow third parties, including our competitors, to challenge our actions. For instance, some of our competitors have challenged the validity of some of our licenses or the scope of services we provide under those licenses, in administrative or judicial proceedings, particularly in Chile. It is possible that, in the future, we may face additional regulatory prohibitions or limitations on our services. Inability to provide planned services could make it more difficult for us to compete in the affected markets. Further, some countries in which we conduct business impose foreign ownership limitations upon telecommunications companies. Finally, in some of our markets, local governments have adopted very stringent rules and regulations related to the placement and construction of wireless towers, which can significantly impede the planned expansion of our service coverage area, eliminate existing towers and impose new and onerous taxes and fees. These issues affect our ability to operate in each of our markets, and therefore impact our business strategies. In addition, local governments have placed embargoes on a number of our cell sites owned by our operating companies in


30


 

Argentina and Brazil. If we are not able to successfully overcome these embargoes, we may have to remove the cell sites and find a more acceptable location. See the “Regulatory and Legal Overview” discussion for each operating company under “Business — I. Operating Companies.”
 
 
Wireless communications licenses and spectrum allocations are subject to ongoing review and, in some cases, to modification or early termination for failure to comply with applicable regulations. If our operating companies fail to comply with the terms of their licenses and other regulatory requirements, including installation deadlines and minimum loading or service availability requirements, their licenses could be revoked. Further, compliance with these requirements is a condition for eligibility for license renewal. Most of our wireless communications licenses have fixed terms and are not renewed automatically. Because governmental authorities have discretion as to the grant or renewal of licenses, our licenses may not be renewed or, if renewed, renewal may not be on acceptable economic terms. For example, under existing regulations, our licenses in Brazil and Peru are renewable once, but no regulations presently exist regarding how or whether additional renewals will be granted.
 
 
Nextel Communications has licensed to us the right to use “Nextel” and other of its trademarks on a perpetual royalty-free basis in Latin America. However, Nextel Communications may terminate the license on 60 days notice if we commit one of several specified defaults (namely, failure to maintain agreed quality controls or a change in control of NII Holdings). If there is a change in control of one of our subsidiaries, upon 30 days notice, Nextel Communications may terminate the sublicense granted by us to the subsidiary with respect to the licensed marks. The loss of the use of the “Nextel” tradename could have a material adverse effect on our operations. We also depend upon our roaming agreements with Nextel Communications for access to its iDEN network in the United States.
 
 
As required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, our management has conducted an assessment of our internal control over financial reporting. As defined under the rules implementing Section 404, internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. To evaluate the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, management uses the criteria described in “Internal Control — Integrated Framework” issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.
 
In our 2004 annual report on Form 10-K and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2005, June 30, 2005 and September 30, 2005, we provided a detailed description of two material weaknesses over internal control over financial reporting we had identified at the time. In this 2005 annual report on Form 10-K, we continue to identify the existence of one material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting. A material weakness is a significant deficiency or a combination of significant deficiencies that results in more than a remote likelihood that a material misstatement of the annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected. Based on the material weaknesses we identified, and in accordance with the PCAOB standards, we concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of the dates of the applicable quarterly and annual reports.
 
We are in the process of developing and implementing remedial measures to address the material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. We have extensive work remaining to test the remedial measures and to remedy this material weakness. There can be no assurance as to when the remediation plan will be implemented and successfully tested. Until our remedial efforts are completed, we


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will continue to incur the expenses and management burdens associated with the additional resources and oversight required to prepare our consolidated financial statements.
 
  If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud. As a result, current and potential stockholders could lose confidence in our financial reporting, which would harm our business and the trading price of our stock.
 
Effective internal controls are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and effectively prevent fraud. Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. We have in the past discovered, and may in the future discover, areas of our internal controls that need improvement. As initially discussed in our 2004 annual report on Form 10-K, we identified a material weakness related to the accounting for income taxes as a result of our assessment of internal controls over financial reporting in 2004 and in 2005. We are continuing to work to improve our internal controls. We cannot be certain that these measures will ensure that we implement and maintain adequate controls over our financial processes and reporting in the future. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls or difficulties encountered in their implementation could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. Inadequate internal controls could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could have a negative effect on the trading price of our stock.
 
 
Our debt could have important consequences to you, such as:
 
  •  limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industries in which we compete and increasing our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions; and
 
  •  limiting our ability to obtain additional financing that we may need to fund future working capital, capital expenditures, product development, acquisitions or other corporate requirements.
 
As of December 31, 2005, the book value of our long-term debt was $1,148.8 million, including $350.0 million of 2.75% convertible notes due 2025, $300.0 million of 2.875% convertible notes due 2034, $91.5 million of 3.5% convertible notes due 2033, $232.4 million for a syndicated loan facility, $124.8 million in obligations associated with the sale and leaseback of communication towers, $42.5 million in capital lease obligations and $7.6 million in spectrum license financing in Brazil.
 
Our ability to meet our debt obligations and to reduce our indebtedness will depend on our future performance. Our performance, to a certain extent, is subject to general economic conditions and financial, business, political and other factors that are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that we will continue to generate cash flow from operations at or above current levels, that we will be able to meet our cash interest payments on all of our debt or that the related assets currently owned by us can be sustained in the future.
 
If our business plans change, including as a result of changes in technology, or if we decide to offer new communication services or expand into new markets or further in our existing markets, as a result of the construction of additional portions of our network or the acquisition of competitors or others, or if economic conditions in any of our markets generally, or competitive practices in the mobile wireless telecommunications industry change materially from those currently prevailing or from those now anticipated, or if other presently unexpected circumstances arise that have a material effect on the cash flow or profitability of our mobile wireless business, then the anticipated cash needs of our business as well as the conclusions presented herein as to the adequacy of the available sources of cash and timing on our ability to generate net income could change significantly. Any of these events or circumstances could involve significant additional funding needs in excess of the identified currently available sources, and could require us to raise additional capital to meet those needs. In addition, we continue to assess the opportunities to raise additional funding on attractive terms


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and conditions and at times that do not involve any of these events or circumstances and may do so if the opportunity presents itself. However, our ability to seek additional capital, if necessary, is subject to a variety of additional factors that we cannot presently predict with certainty, including:
 
  •  the commercial success of our operations;
 
  •  the volatility and demand of the capital markets; and
 
  •  the future market prices of our securities.
 
If we are unable to generate cash flow from operations in the future to service our debt, we may try to refinance all or a portion of our debt. We cannot assure you that sufficient future borrowings will be available to pay or refinance our debt.
 
 
As a result of restrictions that have been contained in certain of our financing agreements and may be contained in future financing agreements, we may be unable to raise additional financing, compete effectively or take advantage of new business opportunities. This may affect our ability to generate revenues and profits. Our current financing agreements have, and any future financing agreements may contain, covenants that limit how we conduct business by restricting our ability to:
 
  •  incur or guarantee additional indebtedness;
 
  •  pay dividends and make other distributions;
 
  •  prepay subordinated indebtedness;
 
  •  make investments and other restricted payments;
 
  •  enter into sale and leaseback transactions;
 
  •  create liens;
 
  •  sell assets; and
 
  •  engage in transactions with affiliates.
 
 
If we were liquidated, the value of our assets likely would not be sufficient to satisfy our obligations. We have a significant amount of intangible assets, such as licenses. The value of these licenses will depend significantly upon the success of our digital mobile network business and the growth of the SMR and wireless communications industries in general. Moreover, the transfer of licenses in liquidation would be subject to governmental or regulatory approvals that may not be obtained or that may adversely impact the value of such licenses. Our net tangible book value was $727.8 million as of December 31, 2005.
 
 
We have entered into agreements with Motorola that impose limitations and conditions on our ability to use other technologies that would displace our existing iDEN digital mobile networks. These agreements may delay or prevent us from employing new or different technologies that perform better or are available at a lower cost because of the additional economic costs and other impediments to change arising under the Motorola agreements. For example, our infrastructure supply and installation services agreements with Motorola require that we must provide Motorola with notice of our determination that Motorola’s technology is no longer suited to our needs at least six months before publicly announcing or entering into a contract to purchase equipment utilizing an alternate technology.
 
In addition, if Motorola manufactures, or elects to manufacture, the equipment utilizing the alternate technology that we elect to deploy, we must give Motorola the opportunity to supply 50% of our infrastructure


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requirements for the equipment utilizing the alternate technology for three years. This may limit our ability to negotiate with an alternate equipment supplier.
 
 
Upon the occurrence of certain kinds of change of control events, we may be required to repurchase the majority of the principal amount of all of our outstanding debt. However, it is possible that we will not have sufficient funds at the time of the change of control to make the required repurchase of our convertible notes.
 
 
Portable communications devices have been alleged to pose health risks, including cancer, due to radio frequency emissions from these devices. The actual or perceived risk of mobile communications devices could adversely affect us through increased costs of doing business, additional governmental regulation that sets emissions standards or otherwise limits or prohibits our devices from being marketed and sold, a reduction in subscribers, reduced network usage per subscriber or reduced financing available to the mobile communications industry. Further research and studies are ongoing, and we cannot be sure that these studies will not demonstrate a link between radio frequency emissions and health concerns.
 
 
“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Certain statements made in this annual report on Form 10-K are not historical or current facts, but deal with potential future circumstances and developments. They can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should” or “anticipates” or other comparable words, or by discussions of strategy that involve risks and uncertainties. We caution you that these forward-looking statements are only predictions, which are subject to risks and uncertainties, including technical uncertainties, financial variations, changes in the regulatory environment, industry growth and trend predictions. We have attempted to identify, in context, some of the factors that we currently believe may cause actual future experience and results to differ from our current expectations regarding the relevant matter or subject area. The operation and results of our wireless communications business also may be subject to the effects of other risks and uncertainties in addition to the other qualifying factors identified in this Item, including, but not limited to:
 
  •  our ability to meet the operating goals established by our business plan;
 
  •  general economic conditions in Latin America and in the market segments that we are targeting for our digital mobile services;
 
  •  the political and social conditions in the countries in which we operate, including political instability, which may affect the economies of our markets and the regulatory schemes in these countries;
 
  •  substantive terms of any international financial aid package that may be made available to any country in which our operating companies conduct business;
 
  •  the impact of foreign exchange volatility in our markets as compared to the U.S. dollar and related currency devaluations in countries in which our operating companies conduct business;
 
  •  reasonable access to and the successful performance of the technology being deployed in our service areas, and improvements thereon, including technology deployed in connection with the introduction of digital two-way mobile data or Internet connectivity services in our markets;
 
  •  the availability of adequate quantities of system infrastructure and subscriber equipment and components at reasonable pricing to meet our service deployment and marketing plans and customer demand;
 
  •  the success of efforts to improve and satisfactorily address any issues relating to our digital mobile network performance;


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  •  future legislation or regulatory actions relating to our SMR services, other wireless communication services or telecommunications generally;
 
  •  the ability to achieve and maintain market penetration and average subscriber revenue levels sufficient to provide financial viability to our digital mobile network business;
 
  •  the quality and price of similar or comparable wireless communications services offered or to be offered by our competitors, including providers of cellular services and personal communications services;
 
  •  market acceptance of our new service offerings;
 
  •  our ability to access sufficient debt or equity capital to meet any future operating and financial needs; and
 
  •  other risks and uncertainties described in this annual report on Form 10-K and from time to time in our other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments
 
None.
 
 
Our principal executive and administrative offices are located in Reston, Virginia, where we lease about 45,200 square feet of office space under a lease expiring in January 2009. In addition, our operating companies own and lease office space and transmitter and receiver sites in each of the countries where they conduct business.
 
Each operating company leases transmitter and receiver sites for the transmission of radio service under various individual site leases. Most of these leases are for terms of five years or less, with options to renew. As of December 31, 2005, our operating companies had constructed sites at leased and owned locations for their digital mobile business, as shown below:
 
         
    Number
 
Operating Company
  of Sites  
 
Nextel Mexico
    1,504  
Nextel Brazil
    1,240  
Nextel Argentina
    506  
Nextel Peru
    321  
         
Total
    3,571  
         
 
These sites include sites sold and leased back from American Tower Corporation, as well as various co-location sites with that company.
 
 
We are subject to claims and legal actions that may arise in the ordinary course of business. We do not believe that any of these pending claims or legal actions will have a material effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
 
 
No matters were submitted to a vote of security holders during the fourth quarter of 2005.
 
 
The following people were serving as our executive officers as of February 28, 2006. These executive officers were elected to serve until their successors are elected. There is no family relationship between any of our executive officers or between any of these officers and any of our directors.


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Steven M. Shindler, 43, has been a director on the board of NII Holdings since 1997, chief executive officer since 2000 and chairman of the board since November 12, 2002. Mr. Shindler also served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Nextel Communications from 1996 until 2000. From 1987 to 1996, Mr. Shindler was an officer with Toronto Dominion Bank, a bank where he was a managing director in its communications finance group.
 
Lo van Gemert, 51, has been the president and chief operating officer of NII Holdings since 1999. Mr. van Gemert served as senior vice president of Nextel Communications from 1999 until 2000 and as president of the north region of Nextel Communications from 1996 until 1999. Before joining Nextel Communications in 1996, Mr. van Gemert served as executive vice president at Rogers Cantel, Inc., a wireless operator in Canada. From 1980 to 1994, Mr. van Gemert held various senior management positions, domestically and overseas, at Sony Corporation and BellSouth Corporation.
 
Byron R. Siliezar, 50, has been the vice president and chief financial officer of NII Holdings since 1999. Mr. Siliezar was the vice president and controller of NII Holdings from 1998 to 1999. Mr. Siliezar served as vice president of finance at Neodata Corporation, a subsidiary of EDS Corporation, a global information technology company, from 1997 to 1998, and from 1996 to 1997, he served as international controller of Pagenet. From 1982 to 1996, Mr. Siliezar held various executive and management positions at GTE Corporation domestically and overseas.
 
Robert J. Gilker, 55, has been the vice president and general counsel of NII Holdings since 2000. From 1998 to 2000, he served as vice president, law and administration and secretary of MPW Industrial Services Group, Inc., a provider of industrial cleaning and facilities support services. From 1987 until he joined MPW, Mr. Gilker was a partner with the law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue.
 
John McMahon, 41, has been our vice president of business operations since joining NII Holdings in 1999. Prior to that, Mr. McMahon served as vice president of finance and business operations, north region, for Nextel Communications from 1997 to 1999, and as director of finance for the mid-Atlantic region from 1995 to 1997.
 
Douglas Dunbar, 45, has been our vice president of marketing and distribution since joining NII Holdings in 1999. Since 1994, Mr. Dunbar held various positions at Nextel Communications, including general manager of the west Florida market from March 1999 to November 1999, where he was responsible for sales, marketing, business operations and customer care functions, and vice president of sales and marketing, north region, from 1997 to 1999.
 
Alan Strauss, 46, has been our vice president of engineering and chief technology officer since 2001. From 1998 until 2001, Mr. Strauss was the vice president and general manager of Nextel Communication’s strategic business operations group. From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Strauss held various positions with Nextel Communications.
 
Daniel E. Freiman, 34, has been our vice president and controller since April 27, 2005. Mr. Freiman was our director of investor relations from June 2004 to April 2005, director of external financial reporting from November 2002 to June 2004 and senior manager of external financial reporting from September 2000 to November 2002. Prior to September 2000, he was a manager in the audit practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Washington, D.C.
 
Catherine E. Neel, 45, has been our vice president and treasurer since November 1, 2002. From 1999 to 2002, Ms. Neel was the assistant treasurer of NII Holdings. Prior to 1999, Ms. Neel held various management positions with BellSouth Corporation and was in public accounting with Arthur Andersen LLP.
 
Jose Felipe, 55, has held several positions since joining NII Holdings in 1998. He has been president of Nextel Mercosur, which manages our operations in Argentina, Brazil and Chile since February 2003. From 1999 to 2003, he served as president of Nextel Cono Sur which managed our operations in Argentina and Chile. From 1998 to 1999, Mr. Felipe was our vice president — Latin America. From 1991 to 1998, Mr. Felipe held various senior management positions with AT&T Corp., most recently president and chief executive officer of the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands region and vice president of emerging markets of the Latin American region.


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Peter A. Foyo, 40, has served as president of Nextel Mexico since 1998. From 1988 to 1998, Mr. Foyo held various senior management positions with AT&T Corp., including corporate strategy director of Alestra, S.A. de C.V., a joint venture between AT&T and a local Mexican partner, and president of AT&T Argentina.
 
Roberto Peon, 56, became the chief operating officer of Nextel Mexico in January of 2006. Mr. Peon served as chief marketing officer for BellSouth International, the Latin American wireless operation of BellSouth Corporation, a telephone company, from 2000 until 2005. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Peon was president of Brazil Operations for BellSouth International and chief executive officer of the company’s cellular affiliate in that country. Mr. Peon previously held various management positions with BellSouth International.
 
Miguel E. Rivera, 53, has served as president of Nextel Peru since 2000. Previously, Mr. Rivera was the general manager of the Lima Stock Exchange from 1999 to 2000. From 1986 to 1998, Mr. Rivera held various executive positions with IBM, most recently as general manager of Manufacturing Industry, IBM Latin America.


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Item 5.   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
 
Our common stock trades on the Nasdaq National Market under the trading symbol “NIHD.” The following table sets forth on a per share basis the reported high and low sales prices for our common stock, as reported on the Nasdaq National Market, for the quarters indicated. On February 26, 2004, we announced a 3-for-1 common stock split which was effected in the form of a stock dividend that was paid on March 22, 2004 to holders of record as of March 12, 2004. In addition, on October 27, 2005, we announced a 2-for-1 common stock split which was effected in the form of a stock dividend that was paid on November 21, 2005 for holders of record on November 11, 2005. The prices in this table have been adjusted to reflect these stock splits.
 
                 
    Price Range of
 
    Common Stock  
    High     Low  
 
2004
               
First Quarter
  $ 18.50     $ 12.39  
Second Quarter
    20.98       15.63  
Third Quarter
    21.93       16.54  
Fourth Quarter
    23.88       20.28  
2005
               
First Quarter
  $ 30.74     $ 23.59  
Second Quarter
    32.21       23.99  
Third Quarter
    42.40       31.54  
Fourth Quarter
    48.23       35.25  
 
 
As of February 17, 2006, there were approximately nine holders of record of our common stock, including the Depository Trust Corporation, which acts as a clearinghouse for multiple brokerage and custodial accounts.
 
 
We have not paid any dividends on our common stock and do not plan to pay dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future. In addition, some of our financing documents have contained, and some future financing agreements may contain, restrictions on the payment of dividends. We anticipate that for the foreseeable future any cash flow generated from our operations will be used to develop and expand our business and operations and make contractual payments under our debt facilities in accordance with our business plan.
 
4. Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
We did not repurchase any of our equity securities during the fourth quarter of 2005.
 
Item 6.   Selected Financial Data
 
The financial information presented below for the year ended December 31, 2001, ten months ended October 31, 2002, two months ended December 31, 2002 and years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005 has been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. Our consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2001, ten months ended October 31, 2002 and two months ended


38


 

December 31, 2002 have been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, our former independent registered public accounting firm. Our consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005 have been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, our current independent registered public accounting firm. Our audited consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2004 and 2005 and for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005 are included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K. This information is only a summary and should be read together with our consolidated historical financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis appearing elsewhere in this annual report on Form 10-K.
 
As a result of the consummation of our Revised Third Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization and the transactions contemplated thereby on November 12, 2002, we are operating our existing business under a new capital structure. In addition, we applied fresh-start accounting rules on October 31, 2002. Accordingly, our consolidated financial condition and results of operations from and after our reorganization are not comparable to our consolidated financial condition or results of operations for periods prior to our reorganization reflected in our historical financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K or in the selected consolidated historical financial information set forth below. References below to the Predecessor Company refer to NII Holdings for the period prior to November 1, 2002 and references to the Successor Company refer to NII Holdings for the period from and after November 1, 2002.
 


39


 

                                                   
    Successor Company       Predecessor Company  
                       Two Months
      Ten Months
       
                      Ended
      Ended
    Year Ended
 
    Year Ended December 31,     December 31,
      October 31,
    December 31,
 
    2005     2004     2003     2002        2002     2001  
    (in thousands, except per share data)  
 Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:
                                                 
Operating revenues
                                                 
Service and other revenues
  $ 1,666,613     $ 1,214,837     $ 895,615     $ 137,623       $ 610,341     $ 634,736  
Digital handset and accessory revenues
    79,226       65,071       43,072       5,655         26,754       27,710  
                                                   
      1,745,839       1,279,908       938,687       143,278         637,095       662,446  
                                                   
Cost of revenues
                                                 
Cost of service (exclusive of depreciation and amortization included below)
    421,037       332,487       240,021       29,929         164,995       173,000  
Cost of digital handset and accessory sales
    251,192       207,112       134,259       19,569         87,582       150,536  
                                                   
      672,229       539,599       374,280       49,498         252,577       323,536  
Selling, general and administrative
    588,849       391,571       317,400       47,108         262,405       426,679  
Impairment, restructuring and other charges
                              15,808       1,581,164  
Depreciation
    123,990       84,139       49,127       4,694         55,758       162,083  
Amortization
    6,142       14,236       30,374       6,392         9,219       56,479  
                                                   
Operating income (loss)
    354,629       250,363       167,506       35,586         41,328       (1,887,495 )
Interest expense, net
    (72,470 )     (55,113 )     (64,623 )     (10,469 )       (151,579 )     (297,228 )
Interest income
    32,611       12,697       10,864       1,797         3,928       13,247  
Foreign currency transaction gains (losses), net
    3,357       9,210       8,856       2,616         (180,765 )     (61,282 )
Debt conversion expense
    (8,930 )                                
(Loss) gain on extinguishment of debt, net
          (79,327 )     22,404               101,598        
Reorganization items, net
                              2,180,998        
Realized losses on investments, net
                                    (151,291 )
Equity in gains of unconsolidated affiliates
                                    9,640  
Other expense, net
    (8,621 )     (2,320 )     (12,166 )     (1,557 )       (8,918 )     (4,181 )
                                                   
Income (loss) from continuing operations before income tax (provision) benefit and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle
    300,576       135,510       132,841       27,973         1,986,590       (2,378,590 )
Income tax (provision) benefit
    (125,795 )     (79,191 )     (51,627 )     (24,874 )       (29,270 )     68,750  
                                                   
Income (loss) from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle
    174,781       56,319       81,214       3,099         1,957,320       (2,309,840 )
Income (loss) from discontinued operations of Nextel Philippines
                      19,665         (2,025 )     (170,335 )
Income tax provision from discontinued operations of Nextel Philippines
                              (252 )     (17,146 )
                                                   
Income (loss) before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle
    174,781       56,319       81,214       22,764         1,955,043       (2,497,321 )
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of income taxes of $11,898 in 2004
          970                            
                                                   
Net income (loss)
  $ 174,781     $ 57,289     $ 81,214     $ 22,764       $ 1,955,043     $ (2,497,321 )
                                                   
Income (loss) from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle per common share, basic
  $ 1.19     $ 0.40     $ 0.64     $ 0.03       $ 7.24     $ (8.53 )
Income (loss) from discontinued operations per common share, basic
                      0.16         (0.01 )     (0.69 )
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle per common share, basic
          0.01                            
                                                   
Net income (loss) per common share, basic
  $ 1.19     $ 0.41     $ 0.64     $ 0.19       $ 7.23     $ (9.22 )
                                                   
Income (loss) from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle per common share, diluted
  $ 1.06     $ 0.39     $ 0.59     $ 0.02       $ 7.24     $ (8.53 )
Income (loss) from discontinued operations per common share, diluted
                      0.16         (0.01 )     (0.69 )
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle per common share, diluted
          0.01                            
                                                   
Net income (loss) per common share, diluted
  $ 1.06     $ 0.40     $ 0.59     $ 0.18       $ 7.23     $ (9.22 )
                                                   
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding, basic
    146,336       139,166       126,257       120,000         270,382       270,750  
                                                   
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding, diluted
    176,562       145,015       140,106       126,858         270,382       270,750    
                                                   
 

40


 

                                           
                              Predecessor
 
    Successor Company       Company  
    December 31,        December 31,
 
    2005     2004     2003     2002       2001  
    (in thousands)  
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
                                         
Cash and cash equivalents
  $ 877,536     $ 330,984     $ 405,406     $ 231,161       $ 250,250  
Short-term investments
    7,371       38,401                      
Property, plant and equipment, net
    933,923       558,247       368,434       230,598         350,001  
Intangible assets, net
    83,642       67,956       85,818       182,264         192,649  
Total assets
    2,620,964       1,491,280       1,128,436       831,473         1,244,420  
Long-term debt, including current portion
    1,172,958       603,509       536,756       432,157         2,665,144  
Stockholders’ equity (deficit)
    811,401       421,947       217,770       71,612         (2,022,150
 
 
                                               
Successor Company       Predecessor Company  
                   Two Months
      Ten Months
       
                  Ended
      Ended
    Year Ended
 
Year Ended December 31,     December 31,
      December 31,
    December 31,
 
2005     2004     2003     2002       2002     2001  
  3.80x       2.88x       2.55x       3.09x         12.63x       —   
 
For the purpose of computing the ratio of earnings to fixed charges, earnings consist of income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes plus fixed charges and amortization of capitalized interest less capitalized interest, equity in gains (losses) of unconsolidated affiliates and minority interest in losses of subsidiaries. Fixed charges consist of:
 
  •  interest on all indebtedness, amortization of debt financing costs and amortization of original issue discount;
 
  •  interest capitalized; and
 
  •  the portion of rental expense we believe is representative of interest.
 
The deficiency of earnings to cover fixed charges for the year ended December 31, 2001 was $2.42 billion. Our ratio of earnings to fixed charges for the ten months ended October 31, 2002 reflects the impact of $2.18 billion of non-recurring net reorganization gains that we recorded in connection with our emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization.
 
Impairment, Restructuring and Other Charges.  During the third quarter of 2001, following our review of the economic conditions, operating performance and other relevant factors in the Philippines, we decided to discontinue funding to Nextel Philippines. As a result, we performed an assessment of the carrying values of the long-lived assets related to Nextel Philippines in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards, or SFAS, No. 121, “Accounting for the Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and for Long-Lived Assets to Be Disposed Of.” As a result, during the third quarter of 2001, we wrote down the carrying values of our long-lived assets related to Nextel Philippines to their estimated fair market values and recorded a $147.1 million pre-tax impairment charge, which is classified in discontinued operations.
 
In view of the then capital constrained environment and our lack of funding sources, during the fourth quarter of 2001, we undertook an extensive review of our business plan and determined to pursue a less aggressive growth strategy that targeted conservation of cash resources by slowing enhancement and expansion of our networks and reducing subscriber growth and operating expenses. In connection with the implementation of this plan, during the fourth quarter of 2001, we recorded non-cash pre-tax impairment charges and pre-tax restructuring and other charges of about $1.6 billion.

41


 

During 2002, some of our markets further restructured their operations, which included workforce reductions. During the ten months ended October 31, 2002, we recorded $3.1 million in restructuring charges related to these actions and a $7.9 million impairment charge to write down the carrying values of Nextel Argentina’s long-lived assets to their estimated fair values as a result of the economic decline in Argentina. In addition, through May 24, 2002, we incurred $4.8 million in other charges for legal and advisory costs incurred related to our debt restructuring activities. Beginning May 24, 2002, we recognized these costs in reorganization items, net, in accordance with SOP 90-7, “Financial Reporting by Entities in Reorganization Under the Bankruptcy Code.”
 
Depreciation and Amortization.  As mentioned above, during 2001, we wrote down substantially all of the long-lived assets held by our operating companies, including property, plant and equipment and intangible assets, to their estimated fair values in accordance with SFAS No. 121. We did not make any adjustments to depreciation or amortization expense recorded during the year ended December 31, 2001. The net book value of the impaired assets became the new cost basis as of December 31, 2001. As a result of the lower cost bases, depreciation and amortization decreased significantly during the ten months ended October 31, 2002. On October 31, 2002, as a result of our reorganization and in accordance with fresh-start accounting requirements under SOP 90-7, we further adjusted the carrying values of our property, plant and equipment and intangible assets based on their estimated relative fair values, which we determined in consultation with external valuation specialists. As a result of additional write-downs to fixed assets, depreciation decreased further during the two months ended December 31, 2002 and the year ended December 31, 2003. Due to the expansion of our digital mobile networks depreciation increased during the years ended December 31, 2004 and 2005. Additionally, amortization expense decreased during the years ended December 31, 2004 and 2005 as a result of the reversal of certain valuation allowances for deferred tax assets existing at our emergence from reorganization, which we recorded as a reduction to intangible assets in connection with our application of fresh-start accounting.
 
Interest Expense, Net.  We reported interest expense incurred during our Chapter 11 reorganization only to the extent that it would be paid during the reorganization or if it was probable that it would be an allowed claim. Principal and interest payments could not be made on pre-petition debt subject to compromise without approval from the bankruptcy court or until the plan of reorganization defining the repayment terms was confirmed. Further, the Bankruptcy Code generally disallowed the payment of post-petition interest that accrued with respect to unsecured or under secured claims. As a result, we did not accrue interest that we believed was not probable of being treated as an allowed claim. During the ten months ended October 31, 2002, we did not accrue interest aggregating $134.6 million on our senior redeemable notes because payment of this interest was not probable. In connection with the confirmation of our plan of reorganization, our senior redeemable notes were extinguished and we repurchased the outstanding balance of Nextel Argentina’s credit facilities from its creditors. As a result, interest expense for the two months ended December 31, 2002 and for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005 decreased significantly compared to prior years. The decrease in interest expense during the year ended December 31, 2003 was also due to a reduction in interest expense related to the $100.0 million principal prepayment of our international equipment facility and the extinguishment of the Brazil equipment facility in September 2003, partially offset by interest expense recognized during 2003 as a result of financing obligations incurred in connection with the sale-leaseback of commercial towers and interest expense recognized on our 3.5% convertible notes that we issued in September 2003. The decrease in interest expense during the year ended December 31, 2004 was also due to a reduction in interest expense related to the $125.0 million pay-off of our international equipment facility and the retirement of substantially all of our 13.0% senior secured discount notes through a cash tender offer in March 2004, partially offset by interest expense recognized during 2004 on our 2.875% convertible notes that we issued in January 2004. The increase in interest expense during the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily a result of interest expense recognized on our syndicated loan facility in Mexico, as well as interest expense recognized on our 2.75% convertible notes, which we issued in August 2005.
 
Foreign Currency Transaction Gains (Losses), Net.  Our operations are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. We recognize gains and losses on U.S. dollar-denominated assets and


42


 

liabilities in accordance with SFAS No. 52, “Foreign Currency Translation.” As a result, significant fluctuations in exchange rates can result in large foreign currency transaction gains and losses.
 
In January 2002, the Argentine government devalued the Argentine peso from its previous one-to-one peg with the U.S. dollar. Subsequently, the Argentine peso-to-dollar exchange rate significantly weakened in value. As a result, during the ten months ended October 31, 2002, Nextel Argentina recorded $137.8 million in foreign currency transaction losses primarily related to its former U.S. dollar-denominated credit facilities. As a result of the settlement of our Argentine credit facilities in November 2002 and the retirement of our dollar-denominated equipment credit facilities in Mexico and Brazil, our foreign currency transaction loss exposure was significantly reduced.
 
Debt Conversion Expense.  On June 10, 2005 and June 21, 2005, $40.0 million and $48.5 million, respectively, principal face amount of our 3.5% convertible notes were converted into 3,000,000 shares and 3,635,850 shares in accordance with the original terms of the debt securities. In connection with these conversions, we paid in the aggregate $8.9 million in cash as additional consideration for conversion, which we recorded as debt conversion expense.
 
(Loss) Gain on Extinguishment of Debt, Net.  The $101.6 million net gain on extinguishment of debt for the ten months ended October 31, 2002 represents a gain we recognized on the settlement of Nextel Argentina’s credit facilities in connection with the confirmation of our plan of reorganization. The $22.4 million net gain on extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2003 represents a gain we recognized in connection with the settlement of our Brazil equipment facility. The $79.3 million net loss on early extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2004 represents a loss we incurred in connection with the retirement of substantially all of our 13.0% senior secured discount notes through a cash tender offer in March 2004.
 
Reorganization Items, Net.  In accordance with SOP 90-7, we classified in reorganization items all items of income, expense, gain or loss that were realized or incurred because we were in reorganization. We expensed as incurred professional fees associated with and incurred during our reorganization and reported them as reorganization items. In addition, during the second quarter of 2002, we adjusted the carrying value of our senior redeemable notes to their face values by writing off the remaining unamortized discounts totaling $92.2 million. We also wrote off the entire remaining balance of our debt financing costs of $31.2 million. We also classified in reorganization items interest income earned by NII Holdings, Inc. or NII Holdings (Delaware), Inc. that would not have been earned but for our Chapter 11 filing. In addition, as a result of our reorganization and our application of fresh-start accounting, we recognized in reorganization items a $2.3 billion gain on the extinguishment of our senior redeemable notes, partially offset by a $115.1 million charge related to the revaluation of our assets and liabilities.
 
Realized Losses on Investments, Net.  In October 2000, TELUS Corporation, a publicly traded Canadian telecommunications company, acquired Clearnet Communications, Inc., a publicly traded Canadian company in which we owned an equity interest. During the third quarter of 2001, in connection with our review of our investment portfolio, we recognized a $188.4 million reduction in fair value of our investment in TELUS, based on its stock price as of September 30, 2001. During the fourth quarter of 2001, we sold our investment in TELUS and recognized a $41.6 million pre-tax gain related to the sale.
 
Equity in Gains of Unconsolidated Affiliates.  Prior to 2001, we recorded equity in gains (losses) of unconsolidated affiliates related to our equity method investments in Nextel Philippines and NEXNET. As a result of the consolidation of Nextel Philippines during the third quarter of 2000 and the sale of our entire minority interest investment in NEXNET, we no longer record equity in gains (losses) of unconsolidated affiliates. Equity in gains of unconsolidated affiliates for 2001 represents a $9.6 million gain realized during the fourth quarter of 2001 on the sale of our minority interest investment in NEXNET.
 
Income Tax (Provision) Benefit.  The $46.6 million increase in the income tax provision from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to a $165.1 million increase in income before tax, partially offset by a decrease in our effective tax rate attributable to a large addition to our deferred tax asset valuation allowance in 2004 that did not recur in 2005.


43


 

The $27.6 million increase in the income tax provision from the year ended December 31, 2003 to the year ended December 31, 2004 primarily resulted from a $23.2 million current income tax benefit that we recorded in 2003 due to the reversal of valuation allowance on post-reorganization deferred tax assets in the U.S.
 
During the two months ended December 31, 2002, we incurred a net income tax provision of $24.9 million, which primarily relates to deferred income tax expense in Mexico, Argentina and Peru, as well as current income tax expense in Mexico and withholding tax in the U.S. During the ten months ended October 31, 2002, we incurred a net income tax provision of $29.3 million, which primarily relates to current U.S. income tax of $25.8 million.
 
During 2001, we recognized a net income tax benefit of $68.8 million primarily due to the reduction of estimated future tax effects of temporary differences related to the value of our licenses held by our operating companies as a result of our asset impairment charges, partially offset by taxes incurred by our U.S. corporate entities related to interest income and services provided to our markets.
 
Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations.  In the fourth quarter of 2002, we sold our remaining direct and indirect ownership in Nextel Philippines. As a result of this sale and in accordance with SFAS No. 144, “Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets,” we presented the financial results of Nextel Philippines as discontinued operations for all periods presented.
 
Cumulative Effect of Change in Accounting Principle.  Until September 30, 2004, we presented the financial statements of our consolidated foreign operating companies utilizing accounts as of a date one month earlier than the accounts of our parent company, U.S. subsidiaries and our non-operating non-U.S. subsidiaries, which we refer to as our one-month lag reporting policy, to ensure timely reporting of consolidated results. As a result, each year the financial position, results of operations and cash flows of each of our wholly-owned foreign operating companies in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile were presented as of and for the year ended November 30. In contrast, financial information relating to our parent company, U.S. subsidiaries and our non-operating non-U.S. subsidiaries was presented as of and for the year ended December 31.
 
We eliminated the one-month reporting lag for the year ended December 31, 2004 and report consolidated results using a consistent calendar year reporting period for the entire Company for 2004. We accounted for the elimination of the one-month lag reporting policy as a change in accounting principle effective January 1, 2004. See Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K.
 
As a result, we treated the month of December 2003, which was normally the first month in the fiscal year of our foreign operating companies, as the lag month, and our fiscal year for all of our foreign operating companies now begins with January and ends with December.


44


 

 
Item 7.   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation
 
 
         
A. Executive Overview
  46
B. Results of Operation
  58
1. Year Ended December 31, 2005 vs. Year Ended December 31, 2004
  59
a. Consolidated
  59
b. Nextel Mexico
  63
c. Nextel Brazil
  66
d. Nextel Argentina
  69
e. Nextel Peru
  72
f. Corporate and other
  74
2. Year Ended December 31, 2004 vs. Year Ended December 31, 2003
  76
a. Consolidated
  76
b. Nextel Mexico
  80
c. Nextel Brazil
  83
d. Nextel Argentina
  86
e. Nextel Peru
  89
f. Corporate and other
  91
C. Liquidity and Capital Resources
  92
D. Future Capital Needs and Resources
  93
E. Effect of Inflation and Foreign Currency Exchange
  96
F. Effect of New Accounting Standards
  97
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
  99


45


 

 
The following is a discussion and analysis of:
 
  •   our consolidated financial condition for the years ended December 31, 2005 and 2004 and our consolidated results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003; and
 
  •  significant factors which we believe could affect our prospective financial condition and results of operation.
 
You should read this discussion in conjunction with our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2005, June 30, 2005 and September 30, 2005. Historical results may not indicate future performance. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors” for risks and uncertainties that may impact our future performance.
 
 
Our principal objective is to grow our business in selected markets in Latin America by providing differentiated, high value wireless communications services to business customers, while improving profitability and cash flow. We intend to continue growing our business in a balanced manner, with a primary focus on generating earnings growth and free cash flow and maintaining appropriate controls on costs and capital expenditures. We will seek to add subscribers at rates which do not negatively impact our operating metrics. We may also explore financially attractive opportunities to expand our network coverage in areas where we currently do not provide wireless service. Based on the relatively low wireless penetration in our markets and our current market share in our target customer segment, we believe that we can continue our current subscriber and revenue growth trends while improving our profitability and cash flow generation. Although certain Latin American markets have been historically volatile, the Latin American markets that we serve have recently experienced improving economies that have been relatively more stable compared to historical periods. We believe we will be successful in meeting our objectives by:
 
Focusing on Major Business Centers in Key Latin American Markets.  We operate primarily in large urban markets in Latin America that have a concentration of high usage business customers, including the five largest cities in Latin America. We target these markets because we believe they offer favorable long-term growth prospects for our wireless communications services. In addition, the cities in which we operate account for a high proportion of total economic activity in each of their respective countries and provide us with a large potential market without the need to build out nationwide wireless coverage. We believe that there are significant opportunities for growth in these markets due to relatively low overall wireless penetration rates and the large number of target business customers. We have licenses in markets that cover about 296 million people, of which our network coverage extends to about 136 million people.
 
Targeting High Value Business Customers.  Our main focus is on high end, post-paid customers with medium to high usage, targeting primarily businesses because they value our multi-function handsets and our high level of customer service. Our typical customers have between 3 and 30 handsets, while some of our largest customers have over 500 handsets under contract. We believe that our focus on these business customers is a key reason why we have a significantly higher monthly average revenue per unit than that reported by our competitors.
 
Providing Differentiated Services.  We have traditionally been the only wireless service provider in Mexico, Peru and Brazil that offers digital mobile telephone service and “push-to-talk” digital radio communication, fully integrated in a single wireless device in, among and throughout our service areas in each of these countries. Our unique Direct Connect push-to-talk service provides significant value to our customers by eliminating the long distance and domestic roaming fees charged by other wireless service providers, while also providing added functionality due to the near-instantaneous nature of the communication and the ability to communicate on a one-to-many basis. Our competitors have begun to introduce competitive push-to-talk over cellular products, but we believe that the quality of our Direct Connect service is superior at this time. We add further value by customizing data applications that enhance the productivity of our business customers, such as vehicle and delivery tracking, order entry processing and workforce monitoring applications. We also provide International Direct Connect service, in conjunction with Nextel Communications, Nextel Partners and


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Telus, which allows subscribers to communicate instantly across national borders with our subscribers in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Peru and with Nextel Communications and Nextel Partners subscribers in the United States and Telus subscribers in Canada.
 
Delivering Superior Customer Service.  In addition to our unique service offerings, we seek to further differentiate ourselves by providing a higher level of customer service generally than our competitors. We work proactively with our customers to match them with service plans offering greater value. After analyzing customer usage and expense data, we strive to minimize a customer’s per minute costs while increasing overall usage of our array of services, thereby providing higher value to our customers while increasing our monthly revenues. This goal is also furthered by our efforts during and after the sales process to educate customers about our services, multi-function handsets and rate plans. In addition, we have implemented proactive customer retention and “customer for life” programs to increase customer satisfaction and retention. We believe that many of our competitors, who have primarily lower revenue generating prepaid customer bases, do not generally offer the same level of service to customers.
 
Selectively Expanding our Service Areas.  We believe that we have significant opportunities to grow through selective expansion of our service into additional areas within the countries in which we currently operate. Such expansion may involve building out certain areas in which we already have spectrum, obtaining additional 800 MHZ spectrum in new areas which would enable us to expand our network service areas, and further developing our business in key urban areas along the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition, we may consider selectively expanding into other Latin American countries where we do not currently operate. As a result of the spectrum that we won in the March 2005 spectrum auctions in Mexico, we plan to significantly expand our service areas in Mexico over the next several years and increase our covered population from about 40 million to about 60 million. Similarly, we plan to expand our service area in Brazil and increase our covered population from about 43 million at the beginning of 2005 to at least 60 million over the next several years. See “Capital Expenditures” for a discussion of the factors that drive our capital spending.
 
We refer to our operating companies by the countries in which they operate, such as Nextel Mexico, Nextel Brazil, Nextel Argentina, Nextel Peru and Nextel Chile. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors” for information on risks and uncertainties that could affect the above objectives.
 
 
Nearly all of our revenues are denominated in non-U.S. currencies, although a significant portion of our capital and operating expenditures, including imported network equipment and handsets, and a substantial portion of our outstanding debt, are denominated in U.S. dollars. Accordingly, fluctuations in exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar could have a material adverse effect on our earnings and assets. For example, the economic upheaval in Argentina in 2002 led to the unpegging of the Argentine peso to the U.S. dollar exchange rate and the subsequent significant devaluation of the Argentine peso. As a result, we recognized significant foreign currency transaction losses in Argentina in 2002 and our revenues and earnings were significantly adversely affected. Any depreciation of local currencies in the countries in which our operating companies conduct business may also result in increased costs to us for imported equipment and may, at the same time, decrease demand for our products and services in the affected markets. Additional information regarding the impact of currency rates is included in the discussion of our segments under “Results of Operation.”
 
 
 
Mexico Syndicated Loan Facility.  In October 2004, Nextel Mexico closed on a $250.0 million, five year syndicated loan facility. Of the total amount of the facility, $129.0 million is denominated in U.S. dollars with a floating interest rate based on LIBOR (6.81% as of December 31, 2005), $31.0 million is denominated in Mexican pesos with a floating interest rate based on the Mexican reference rate, the Interbank Equilibrium Interest Rate, or TIIE (11.13% as of December 31, 2005), and $90.0 million is denominated in Mexican pesos at an interest rate fixed at the time of funding (12.48%). In April 2005, Nextel Mexico amended the credit


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agreement for the syndicated loan facility to extend the availability period until May 31, 2005, and in May 2005, Nextel Mexico drew down on the loan facility for the entire $250.0 million.
 
Conversion of 3.5% Convertible Notes.  On June 10, 2005 and June 21, 2005, certain noteholders converted $40.0 million and $48.5 million, respectively, principal face amount of our 3.5% convertible notes into 3,000,000 shares and 3,635,850 shares (75.0 shares issued per $1,000 of debt principal multiplied by the debt principal) in accordance with the original terms of the debt securities. In connection with these conversions, we paid in the aggregate $8.9 million in cash as additional consideration for conversion, as well as $0.8 million of accrued and unpaid interest. We recorded the $8.9 million that we paid as debt conversion expense in our consolidated statement of operations. We reclassified to paid-in capital the original remaining deferred financing costs related to the notes that were converted.
 
Interest Rate Swap.  In July 2005, Nextel Mexico entered into an interest rate swap agreement to hedge the variability of future cash flows associated with the $31.0 million Mexican peso-denominated variable rate portion of its $250.0 million syndicated loan facility. Under the interest rate swap, Nextel Mexico agreed to exchange the difference between the variable Mexican reference rate, TIIE, and a fixed rate, based on a notional amount of $31.4 million. The interest rate swap fixed the amount of interest expense associated with this portion of the syndicated loan facility commencing on August 31, 2005 and will continue over the life of the facility based on a fixed rate of about 11.95% per year in local Mexican currency.
 
2.75% Convertible Notes.  In August 2005, we privately placed $300.0 million aggregate principal amount of 2.75% convertible notes due 2025, which we refer to as our 2.75% notes. In addition, we granted the initial purchaser an option to purchase up to an additional $50.0 million principal amount of 2.75% notes, which the initial purchaser exercised in full. As a result, we issued an additional $50.0 million aggregate principal amount of 2.75% notes, resulting in total gross proceeds of $350.0 million. We also incurred direct issuance costs of $9.0 million, which we recorded as deferred financing costs on our consolidated balance sheet and are amortizing over five years. The notes were publicly registered, effective February 10, 2006.
 
The 2.75% notes bear interest at a rate of 2.75% per annum on the principal amount of the notes, payable semi-annually in arrears in cash on February 15 and August 15 of each year, beginning February 15, 2006, and will mature on August 15, 2025, when the entire principal balance of $350.0 million will be due. In addition, the noteholders have the right to require us to repurchase the 2.75% notes on August 15 of 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2020 at a repurchase price equal to 100% of their principal amount, plus any accrued and unpaid interest (including additional amounts, if any) up to, but excluding, the repurchase date. The 2.75% notes are convertible into 6,988,450 shares of our common stock at a conversion rate of 19.967 shares per $1,000 principal amount of notes, subject to adjustment, prior to the close of business on the final maturity date under certain circumstances:
 
We have the option to satisfy the conversion of the 2.75% notes in shares of our common stock, in cash or a combination of both.
 
Prior to August 20, 2010, the 2.75% notes are not redeemable. On or after August 20, 2010, we may redeem for cash some or all of the 2.75% notes, at any time and from time to time, upon at least 30 days’ notice for a price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the notes to be redeemed plus any accrued and unpaid interest (including additional amounts, if any) up to, but excluding, the redemption date. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding our 2.75% notes.
 
Foreign Currency Hedge.  In September 2005, Nextel Mexico entered into a derivative agreement to reduce its foreign currency transaction risk associated with $129.4 million of its 2006 U.S. dollar forecasted capital expenditures and handset purchases. This risk is hedged by forecasting Nextel Mexico’s capital expenditures and handset purchases for a 12-month period beginning in January 2006. Under this agreement, Nextel Mexico purchased a U.S. dollar call option for $3.6 million and sold a call option on the Mexican peso for $1.1 million for a net cost of $2.5 million.
 
In October 2005, Nextel Mexico entered into another derivative agreement to further reduce its foreign currency transaction risk associated with $52.0 million of its 2006 U.S. dollar forecasted capital expenditures


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and handset purchases. This risk is similarly hedged by forecasting Nextel Mexico’s capital expenditures and handset purchases for a 12-month period beginning in January 2006. Under this agreement, Nextel Mexico purchased a U.S. dollar call option for $1.4 million and sold a call option on the Mexican peso for $0.3 million for a net cost of $1.1 million.
 
 
Mexico Spectrum Auction.  On January 10, 2005, the Mexican government began an auction for wireless spectrum licenses in the 806-821 MHz to 851-866 MHz frequency band. Inversiones Nextel de Mexico, a subsidiary of Nextel Mexico, participated in this auction. The spectrum auction was divided into three separate auctions: Auction 15 for Northern Mexico Zone 1, Auction 16 for Northern Mexico Zone 2 and Auction 17 for Central and Southern Mexico. The auctions were completed between February 7 and February 11. Nextel Mexico won an average of 15 MHz of nationwide spectrum, except for Mexico City, where no spectrum was auctioned and where Nextel Mexico already has approximately 21 MHz of spectrum licenses. The corresponding licenses and immediate use of the spectrum were granted to Inversiones Nextel de Mexico on March 17, 2005. These new licenses have an initial term of 20 years, which we have estimated to be the amortization period of the licenses, and are renewable thereafter for 20 years. Nextel Mexico paid an up-front fee of $3.4 million for these licenses, excluding certain annual fees, and $0.5 million in other capitalizable costs. The spectrum licenses that Nextel Mexico acquired will allow it to significantly expand its digital mobile network over the next two years, thereby allowing it to cover a substantial portion of the Mexican national geography and population.
 
Purchase of AOL Mexico.  In April 2005, Nextel Mexico purchased the entire equity interest of AOL Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. for approximately $14.1 million in cash. As a result of this transaction, Nextel Mexico obtained AOL Mexico’s call center assets, certain accounts receivable and access to AOL Mexico’s customer list, as well as tax loss carryforwards, which we believe are more likely than not to be realized. We accounted for this transaction as a purchase of assets. This acquisition is a related party transaction as one of our board members is also the president and chief executive officer of AOL Latin America. Due to this board member’s involvement with our company, he recused himself from our decision to make this acquisition.
 
Brazil Spectrum Purchases.  During the second quarter of 2005, Nextel Brazil acquired spectrum licenses for $8.3 million, of which it paid $0.7 million. The remaining $7.6 million is due in six annual installments beginning in 2008, and we are amortizing these licenses over 15 years.
 
 
Servico Movel Especializado (SME) Regulations in Brazil.  On May 16, 2005, the Brazilian National Communications Agency, or Anatel, enacted certain substantive modifications to the SME regulations that, among other things, have the effect of treating Nextel Brazil equal to all other Brazilian SMR and SME carriers with respect to billing for use of other mobile networks. These modifications to the SME regulations became immediately effective and resulted in savings for Nextel Brazil in relation to interconnect charges made by other carriers.
 
Stock Split.  On October 27, 2005, we announced a 2-for-1 common stock split to be effected in the form of a stock dividend, which was paid on November 21, 2005 to holders of record on November 11, 2005. All share and per share amounts in this annual report on Form 10-K related to NII Holdings, Inc. reflect the common stock split.
 
Amendments to Infrastructure Supply and Installation Services Agreements. In December 2005, we and each of our operating companies entered into various amendments to our existing infrastructure supply and installation services agreements with Motorola, Inc. to extend the terms of these agreements to December 31, 2007.
 
 
During the year ended December 31, 2005, we identified errors in our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2004. These errors primarily related to accounting for income taxes, a corporate aircraft


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lease, bookkeeping errors in our operating company in Mexico and other miscellaneous items. For the year ended December 31, 2005, we reduced operating income by $2.1 million and increased net income by $2.8 million, respectively, related to the correction of these errors. In connection with certain balance sheet errors, during the year ended December 31, 2005, we increased total assets by approximately $66.8 million, total liabilities by approximately $34.9 million and stockholders’ equity by approximately $31.9 million. We do not believe that these adjustments are material to the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2005 or to any prior periods. See Notes 7 and 12 to our consolidated financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K for additional disclosures related to the aircraft lease and income tax adjustments, respectively.
 
 
In April 2004, we entered into an agreement to lease a corporate aircraft for eight years for the purpose of enabling company employees to visit and conduct business at our various operating companies in Latin America. We originally accounted for this agreement as an operating lease. However, upon further analysis and review, in the fourth quarter of 2005, we determined that because of certain cross-default provisions in the lease, we should account for the agreement as a capital lease under EITF 97-01, “Implementation Issues in Accounting for Lease Transactions, Including Those Involving Special Purpose Entities.” As a result of this and due to a lease modification of the existing aircraft lease, in the fourth quarter of 2005, we revised the accounting for this agreement to a capital lease and recorded a capital lease asset and capital lease liability for the present value of the future minimum lease payments. We also adjusted our general and administrative expenses, depreciation and interest expense to reflect the change from an operating lease to a capital lease.
 
In November 2005, we entered into an agreement to lease a new corporate aircraft beginning in 2009 for ten years. We refer to this aircraft lease as the 2005 aircraft lease. This new aircraft, which is scheduled to be delivered in May 2009, will replace the existing corporate aircraft that we are currently leasing. We determined that in accordance with EITF 97-10, “The Effect of Lessee Involvement in Asset Construction,” we are the owner of this new corporate aircraft during its construction because we have substantially all of the construction period risks. As a result, we will record an asset for construction in progress and a corresponding long-term liability for the new aircraft as construction occurs. When construction of the new corporate aircraft is complete and the lease term begins, we will record the 2005 aircraft lease as a sale and a leaseback and evaluate the classification of the lease as capital versus operating at that time.
 
Upon taking delivery of the new aircraft in May 2009, we are required to immediately exercise our early purchase option on the existing aircraft and pay all amounts due under the 2004 aircraft lease. If we fail to take delivery of the new aircraft and acquire the existing aircraft, we will be subject to certain penalties under the 2004 aircraft lease and the 2005 aircraft lease. If we take delivery of the new aircraft and acquire the existing aircraft, we intend to immediately sell the existing aircraft.
 
In addition, we signed a demand promissory note to guarantee the total advance payments for the construction of the new aircraft to be financed by the lessor under the 2005 aircraft lease. The first scheduled advance payment occurred in November 2005. The lessor committed to make advance payments of up to $25.2 million during the construction of the new aircraft. We also provided a $1.0 million letter of credit to the lessor as security for the first advance payment, which we paid in the fourth quarter of 2005. To secure our obligations under the letter of credit agreement, we deposited approximately $1.0 million in a restricted cash account with the bank issuing the letter of credit. We have classified this amount as a long-term asset in our consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2005. Under the 2005 aircraft lease, we are obligated to increase the amount of the letter of credit up to a maximum of $10.0 million as the lessor makes advance payments. Under the terms of this promissory note, we are required to maintain unencumbered cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and highly liquid investments of no less than $60.0 million at all times.
 
Interest accrues on the portion of the outstanding principal amount of the promissory note that is equal to or less than $10.0 million, at a variable rate of interest, adjusted monthly, equal to the monthly LIBOR rate plus 0.5% per year and the portion of the outstanding principal amount of the note in excess of $10.0 million, at a variable rate of interest, adjusted monthly, equal to the monthly LIBOR rate plus 1.75% per year. As of December 31, 2005, we recorded an asset and a corresponding liability of $1.0 million for the amount


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outstanding under this promissory note. In addition, for the year ended December 31, 2005, we have accrued for interest on the $1.0 million outstanding balance.
 
 
Nextel Brazil has received various assessment notices from state and federal Brazilian authorities asserting deficiencies in payments related primarily to value-added taxes and import duties based on the classification of equipment and services. Nextel Brazil has filed various administrative and legal petitions disputing these assessments. In some cases, Nextel Brazil has received favorable decisions, which are currently being appealed by the respective governmental authority. In other cases, Nextel Brazil’s petitions have been denied, and Nextel Brazil is currently appealing those decisions. Nextel Brazil is also disputing various other claims. As a result of the expiration of the statute of limitations for certain contingencies, during the year ended December 31, 2005, Nextel Brazil reversed $6.5 million in accrued liabilities, of which we recorded $3.2 million as a reduction to operating expenses and the remainder to other income, which represented monetary corrections.
 
During the year ended December 31, 2004, Nextel Brazil reduced its liabilities by $35.4 million, of which we recorded $14.4 million as a reduction to operating expenses, reclassified $12.6 million of a settled claim to current liabilities for payment, and recorded the remainder, which primarily included monetary corrections on these contingencies, in other income.
 
During 2003, we reversed $6.3 million in liabilities. Of this total, we recorded $4.6 million as a reduction to operating expenses and the remainder to other income.
 
As of December 31, 2005, Nextel Brazil had accrued liabilities of $27.6 million related to contingencies, all of which were classified in tax and non-tax accrued contingencies reported as a component of other long-term liabilities. As of December 31, 2004, Nextel Brazil had accrued liabilities of $26.4 million related to contingencies, of which $23.2 million were classified as other long-term liabilities and $3.2 million were classified as accrued expenses. The balance related to accrued contingencies increased from 2004 primarily due to foreign currency translation adjustments. Of the total accrued liabilities as of December 31, 2005 and 2004, Nextel Brazil had $21.7 million and $20.8 million in unasserted claims, respectively. We currently estimate the range of possible losses related to matters for which Nextel Brazil has not accrued liabilities, as they are not deemed probable, to be between $74.1 million and $78.1 million as of December 31, 2005. We are continuing to evaluate the likelihood of probable and reasonably possible losses, if any, related to all known contingencies. As a result, future increases or decreases to our accrued liabilities may be necessary and will be recorded in the period when such amounts are probable and estimable.
 
 
Turnover Tax.  In one of the markets in which we operate in Argentina, the city government had previously increased the turnover tax rate from 3% to 6% of revenues for cellular companies. From a regulatory standpoint, we are not considered a cellular company. As a result, we continue to pay the turnover tax at the existing rate and record a liability for the differential between the old rate and the new rate. Similarly, one of the provincial governments in one of the markets where we operate also increased their turnover tax rate from 4% to 5.85% of revenues for cellular companies. Consistent with our earlier position, we continue to pay the turnover tax at the existing rate and accrue a liability for the incremental difference in the rate. For the years ended December 31, 2005 and 2004, we recorded $8.0 million and $8.8 million, respectively, as increases in liabilities for local turnover taxes.
 
Universal Service Tax.  During the year ended December 31, 2000, the Argentine government enacted the Universal Service Regulation, which established a tax on telecommunications licensees effective January 1, 2001, equal to 1% of telecommunications service revenue, net of applicable taxes and specified related costs. The license holder can choose either to pay the tax into a fund for universal service development or to participate directly in offering services to specific geographical areas under an annual plan designed by the federal government. Although the regulations state that this tax would be applicable beginning January 1, 2001, the authorities have not, until recently, taken the necessary actions to implement this tax, such as


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creating policies relating to collection or opening accounts into which the funds would be deposited. As of December 31, 2005, the accrual for this liability to the government was $5.1 million, which is included as a component of total accrued liabilities of $40.2 million as of December 31, 2005.
 
Nextel Argentina billed this tax as Universal Tax on customer invoices during the period from January 2001 to August 2001 for a total amount of $0.2 million. Subsequent to August 2001, Nextel Argentina did not segregate a specific charge or identify any portion of its customer billings as relating to the Universal Tax and, in fact, raised its rates and service fees to customers several times after this period unrelated to the Universal Tax. As of December 31, 2005 and 2004, we had accrued $0.2 million (from January 2001 to August 2001) for the refund.
 
In May 2005, the Secretariat of Communications, or the SC, passed legislation stating that the fee was an obligation of the service provider and could not be assessed to its clients. The SC also instructed the National Communication Commission, or the CNC, to request operators to reimburse all amounts collected. In July 2005, the CNC issued a resolution which required operators to reimburse amounts collected, plus interest, within 90 days.
 
In October 2005, Nextel Argentina sought a judicial injunction against the resolution passed in July 2005. Shortly thereafter, the SC rejected Nextel Argentina’s administrative claim and separately repealed the legislation passed in July 2005 that required operators to reimburse amounts collected, plus interest. The SC also instructed the CNC to issue new resolutions on a case-by-case basis. As a result, the CNC ordered Nextel Argentina to reimburse amounts collected as universal service, plus interest, using the same methodology and rate that Nextel Argentina utilizes to calculate interest charged to late-paying customers. In November 2005, Nextel Argentina filed an administrative claim and sought a judicial injunction against the legislation passed in May 2005. The administrative claim and the judicial injunction that Nextel Argentina filed in November 2005 are still pending.
 
Also, in the fourth quarter of 2005, consumer advocate organizations started taking a more active role in this matter by filing administrative pleadings and judicial claims against other telecommunications operators. In December 2005, Nextel Argentina was notified that a consumer group filed a claim against Nextel Argentina to reimburse all amounts collected as Universal Tax.
 
As a result of the events described above and an opinion of counsel, during the fourth quarter of 2005, Nextel Argentina accrued $3.9 million for the amount due to its clients for the period from September 2001 to December 2005 as a reduction of operating revenues. In addition, Nextel Argentina accrued $2.5 million for interest related to these charges, which we classified as interest expense on our consolidated statement of operations. The total amount of $6.4 million is included as a component of total accrued liabilities of $40.2 million as of December 31, 2005.
 
As of December 31, 2005 and 2004, Nextel Argentina had accrued liabilities of $40.2 million and $21.2 million, respectively, related primarily to local turnover taxes and local government claims, all of which were classified in tax and non-tax accrued contingencies reported as a component of accrued expenses and other.
 
 
The preparation of our financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Although we believe that our estimates, assumptions and judgments are reasonable, they are based upon information presently available. Due to the inherent uncertainty involved in making those estimates, actual results reported in future periods could differ from those estimates.
 
The SEC has defined a company’s critical accounting policies as those that are most important to the portrayal of the company’s financial condition and results of operations, and which require a company to make its most difficult and subjective judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates of matters that are


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inherently uncertain. Based on this definition, we have identified the critical accounting policies and judgments addressed below. We also have other accounting policies, which involve the use of estimates, judgments and assumptions that are significant to understanding our results. For additional information see Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K.
 
Revenue Recognition.  While our revenue recognition policy does not require the exercise of significant judgment or the use of significant estimates, we believe that our policy is significant as revenue is a key component of our results of operations.
 
Operating revenues primarily consist of service revenues and revenues generated from the sale of digital handsets and accessories. In addition, operating revenues are presented net of valued-added taxes and gross of certain revenue-based taxes. Service revenues primarily include fixed monthly access charges for digital mobile telephone service and digital two-way radio and other services including revenues from calling party pays programs where applicable and variable charges for airtime and digital two-way radio usage in excess of plan minutes, long-distance charges and international roaming revenues derived from calls placed by our customers on other carriers’ networks.
 
We also have other sources of revenues. Other revenues primarily include amounts generated from our handset maintenance programs, roaming revenues generated from other companies’ customers that roam on our networks and co-location rental revenues from third party tenants that rent space on our towers.
 
We recognize revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred, the sale price is fixed and determinable and collectibility is reasonably assured. The following are the policies applicable to our major categories of revenue transactions.
 
We recognize revenue for access charges and other services charged at fixed amounts ratably over the service period, net of credits and adjustments for service discounts. We recognize excess usage, local, long distance and calling party pays revenue at contractual rates per minute as minutes are used. We record cash received in excess of revenues earned as deferred revenues.
 
We recognize revenue generated from our handset maintenance programs on a monthly basis at fixed amounts over the service period. We recognize roaming revenues at contractual rates per minute as minutes are used. We recognize co-location revenues from third party tenants on a monthly basis based on the terms set by the underlying agreements.
 
We bill excess usage to our customers in arrears. In order to recognize the revenues originated from excess usage subsequent to customer invoicing through the end of the reporting period, we estimate the unbilled portion based on the usage that the handset had during the part of the month already billed, and we use this actual usage to estimate the unbilled usage for the rest of the month taking into consideration working days and seasonality. Our estimates are based on our experience in each market. We periodically evaluate our estimation process by comparing our estimates to actual excess usage revenue billed the following month. As a result, actual usage could differ from our estimates.
 
We recognize revenue from handset and accessory sales when title and risk of loss passes upon delivery of the handset or accessory to the customer.
 
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts.  We establish an allowance for doubtful accounts receivable sufficient to cover probable and reasonably estimated losses. Our methodology for determining our allowance for doubtful accounts receivable requires significant estimates. Since we have several hundred thousand accounts, it is impracticable to review the collectibility of all individual accounts when we determine the amount of our allowance for doubtful accounts receivable each period. Therefore, we consider a number of factors in establishing the allowance on a market-by-market basis, including historical collection experience, current economic trends, estimates of forecasted write-offs, agings of the accounts receivable portfolio and other factors. While we believe that the estimates we use are reasonable, actual results could differ from those estimates.
 
Depreciation of Property, Plant and Equipment.  Our business is capital intensive because of our digital mobile networks. We record at cost our digital network assets and other improvements that in our opinion,


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extend the useful lives of the underlying assets, and depreciate the assets over their estimated useful lives. We calculate depreciation using the straight-line method based on estimated useful lives of 3 to 20 years for digital mobile network equipment and software and 3 to 10 years for office equipment, furniture and fixtures, and other. We amortize leasehold improvements over the shorter of the lease terms or the useful lives of the improvements. Our digital mobile networks are highly complex and, due to constant innovation and enhancements, certain components of the networks may lose their utility faster than anticipated. We periodically reassess the economic life of these components and make adjustments to their expected lives after considering historical experience and capacity requirements, consulting with the vendor and assessing new product and market demands and other factors. When these factors indicate network components may not be useful for as long as originally anticipated, we depreciate the remaining book value over the remaining useful lives. Further, the timing and deployment of any new technologies could affect the estimated remaining useful lives of our digital network assets, which could significantly impact future results of operations.
 
Amortization of Intangible Assets.  We record our licenses at historical cost and amortize them using the straight-line method based on an estimated useful life of 12 to 20 years. The terms of our licenses, including renewals, range from 30 to 40 years. However, the wireless telecommunications industry is experiencing significant technological change. Future technological advancements may render iDEN technology obsolete. Additionally, the political and regulatory environments in the markets we serve are continuously changing and, in many cases, the renewal fees could be significant. Therefore, we do not view the renewal of our licenses to be perfunctory. As a result, we classify our licenses as finite lived assets. Our licenses and the requirements to maintain the licenses are subject to renewal after the initial term, provided that we have complied with applicable rules and policies in each of our markets. We intend to comply, and believe we have complied, with these rules and policies in all material respects. However, because governmental authorities have discretion as to the grant or renewal of licenses, our licenses may not be renewed, which could have a significant impact on our estimated useful lives. This would affect our results of operations in the future.
 
Foreign Currency.  We translate the results of operations for our non-U.S. subsidiaries and affiliates from the designated functional currency to the U.S. dollar using average exchange rates during the period, while we translate assets and liabilities at the exchange rate in effect at the reporting date. We report the resulting gains or losses from translating foreign currency financial statements as other comprehensive income or loss.
 
Because average exchange rates are used to translate the operations of our non-U.S. subsidiaries, our operating companies’ trends may be impacted by the translation. For example, in-country U.S. dollar-based trends may be accentuated or attenuated by changes in translation rates.
 
We report the effects of changes in exchange rates associated with U.S. dollar-denominated assets and liabilities as foreign currency transaction gains or losses. With regard to intercompany loans and advances to our foreign subsidiaries that are of a long-term investment nature and that are not expected to be settled in the forseeable future, we report the effects of changes in exchange rates as part of the cumulative foreign currency translation adjustment in our consolidated financial statements. We view the intercompany loans and advances from our U.S. subsidiaries to Nextel Brazil and Nextel Chile and an intercompany payable due to Nextel Mexico as of a long-term investment nature. In contrast, we report the effects of exchange rates associated with U.S. dollar denominated intercompany loans and advances to our foreign subsidiaries that are due, or for which repayment is anticipated, in the foreseeable future, as foreign currency transaction gains, net in our consolidated statements of operations. As a result, our determination of whether intercompany loans and advances are of a long-term investment nature can have a significant impact on the calculation of foreign currency transaction gains and losses and the foreign currency translation adjustment.
 
Loss Contingencies.  We account for and disclose loss contingencies such as pending litigation and actual or possible claims and assessments in accordance with SFAS No. 5, “Accounting for Contingencies.” We accrue for loss contingencies if it is probable that a loss will occur and if the loss can be reasonably estimated. We disclose loss contingencies if it is reasonably possible that a loss will occur and if the loss can be reasonably estimated. We do not accrue for or disclose loss contingencies if there is only a remote possibility that the loss will occur. SFAS No. 5 requires us to make judgments regarding future events,


54


 

including an assessment relating to the likelihood that a loss may occur and an estimate of the amount of such loss. In assessing loss contingencies, we often seek the assistance of our legal counsel and in some instances, of third party legal counsel. As a result of the significant judgment required in assessing and estimating loss contingencies, actual losses realized in future periods could differ significantly from our estimates.
 
Stock-Based Compensation.  We account for stock-based compensation under the recognition and measurement principles of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123, “Accounting for Stock Based Compensation,” or SFAS No. 123. As permitted by SFAS No. 123, we have chosen to continue to apply APB Opinion No. 25 “Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees,” or APB No. 25, and related interpretations in accounting for our employee related stock plans. Accordingly, in each period, we used the intrinsic-value method to record stock based employee compensation. We do not recognize compensation expense for stock options granted to employees with an exercise price equal to or above the trading price per share of our common stock on the grant date. We account for stock-based compensation to non-employees at fair value using a Black-Scholes option pricing model in accordance with the provisions of SFAS No. 123 and other applicable accounting principles. Since compensation expense is measured based on the estimated fair value of options rather than the intrinsic value, if we had applied SFAS No. 123 to all stock-based compensation, our results of operations would have been different. Effective January 1, 2006, we will apply the provisions in Statement No. 123 (revised 2004), “Share-Based Payment,” or SFAS 123R, which will require that we expense the cost of stock options and other forms of shared-based payments. See Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K for further information surrounding the effect of applying SFAS No. 123R on our results of operations.
 
Income Taxes.  We account for income taxes using the asset and liability method under which we recognize deferred income taxes for the tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts and the tax bases of existing assets and liabilities, as well as for tax loss carryforwards and tax credit carryforwards. We measure deferred tax assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recoverable or settled. We recognize the effect on deferred taxes of a change in tax rates in income in the period that includes the enactment date. We provide a valuation allowance against deferred tax assets if, based upon the weight of available evidence, we believe it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. We report remeasurement gains and losses related to deferred tax assets and liabilities in our income tax provision.
 
A substantial portion of our deferred tax asset valuation allowance relates to deferred tax assets that, if realized, will not result in a benefit to our income tax provision. In accordance with SOP 90-7, we recognize decreases in the valuation allowance existing at the reorganization date first as a reduction in the carrying value of intangible assets existing at the reorganization date and then as an increase to paid-in capital. As of December 31, 2004, we reduced to zero the carrying value of our intangible assets existing at the reorganization date. We will record the future decreases, if any, of the valuation allowance existing on the reorganization date as an increase to paid-in capital. We will record decreases, if any, of the post-reorganization valuation allowance as a benefit to our income tax provision. In accordance with APB 25, we recognize decreases in the valuation allowance attributable to the tax benefits resulting from the exercise of employee stock options as an increase to paid-in capital. In each market, we recognize decreases in the valuation allowance first as a decrease in the remaining valuation allowance that existed as of the reorganization date, then as a decrease in any post-reorganization valuation allowance, and finally as a decrease of the valuation allowance associated with stock option deductions.
 
Realization of deferred tax assets in any of our markets depends on continued future profitability in these markets. Our ability to generate the expected amounts of taxable income from future operations is dependent upon general economic conditions, technology trends, political uncertainties, competitive pressures and other factors beyond management’s control. If our operations continue to demonstrate profitability, we may further reverse additional deferred tax asset valuation allowance balances during 2006. We will continue to evaluate the deferred tax asset valuation allowance balances in all of our foreign operating companies and in our U.S. companies throughout 2006 to determine the appropriate level of valuation allowances.


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Transactions with Nextel Communications, Inc.  Following Nextel Communications’ sale of 18,000,000 shares of our common stock on November 13, 2003, Nextel Communications owned 24,712,128 shares of our common stock, either directly or indirectly, which represented approximately 17.9% and 17.7% of our issued and outstanding shares of common stock as of December 31, 2003 and 2004, respectively.
 
Following Nextel Communications’ sale of 10,000,000 shares of our common stock on September 7, 2005, Nextel Communications owned, as of December 31, 2005, either directly or indirectly, 14,712,128 shares of our common stock, which represents approximately 9.7% of our issued and outstanding shares of common stock.
 
The following are descriptions of other significant transactions consummated with Nextel Communications on November 12, 2002 under our confirmed plan of reorganization. See “Item 13. — Certain Relationships and Related Transactions — Transactions with Nextel Communications” for additional information.
 
 
On November 12, 2002, we and Nextel Communications entered into a new spectrum use and build-out agreement. Under this agreement, certain of our subsidiaries committed to complete the construction of our network in the Baja region of Mexico, in exchange for cash proceeds from Nextel Communications of $50.0 million. We recorded the $50.0 million as deferred revenues and we are recognizing the revenue ratably over 15.5 years, the then remaining useful life of our licenses in Tijuana. As of December 31, 2005 and 2004, we had recorded $42.5 million and $45.7 million, respectively, of deferred revenues related to this agreement, of which $39.3 million and $42.5 million are classified as long-term, respectively. We commenced service on our network in the Baja region of Mexico in September 2003. As a result, during the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, we recognized $3.2 million, $3.5 million and $0.8 million, respectively, in revenues related to this arrangement.
 
 
We had a tax sharing agreement with Nextel Communications, dated January 1, 1997, which was in effect through November 11, 2002. On November 12, 2002, we terminated the tax sharing agreement and entered into a tax cooperation agreement with Nextel Communications under which Nextel Communications and we agreed to retain, for 20 years following the effective date of our plan of reorganization, books, records, accounting data and other information related to the preparation and filing of consolidated tax returns filed for Nextel Communications’ consolidated group.
 
 
We had an overhead services agreement with Nextel Communications in effect through November 11, 2002. On November 12, 2002, we entered into an amended and restated overhead services agreement, under which Nextel Communications will provide us, for agreed upon service fees, certain (i) information technology services, (ii) payroll and employee benefit services, (iii) procurement services, (iv) engineering and technical services, (v) marketing and sales services, and (vi) accounts payable services. Either Nextel Communications or we can terminate one or more of the other services at any time with 30 days advance notice. Effective January 1, 2003, we terminated Nextel Communications’ payroll and employee benefit services, procurement services and accounts payable services. Effective October 15, 2004, we terminated all other services with the exception of engineering and technical services and marketing and sales services. In addition, effective February 15, 2006, we terminated in its entirety the overhead services agreement with Nextel Communications.
 
 
On November 12, 2002, we entered into a third amended and restated trademark license agreement with Nextel Communications, which superseded a previous trademark license agreement. Under the new agreement,


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Nextel Communications granted to us an exclusive, royalty-free license to use within Latin America, excluding Puerto Rico, certain trademarks, including but not limited to the mark “Nextel.” The license agreement continues indefinitely unless terminated by Nextel Communications upon 60 days notice if we commit any one of several specified defaults and fail to cure the default within a 60 day period. Under a side agreement, until the sooner of November 12, 2007 or the termination of the new agreement, Nextel Communications agreed not to offer iDEN service in Latin America, other than in Puerto Rico, and we agreed not to offer iDEN service in the United States.
 
 
As part of our Revised Third Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization, we, Nextel Communications and certain of our noteholders entered into a Standstill Agreement, pursuant to which Nextel Communications and its affiliates agreed not to purchase (or take any other action to acquire) any of our equity securities, or other securities convertible into our equity securities, that would result in Nextel Communications and its affiliates holding, in the aggregate, more than 49.9% of the equity ownership of us on a fully diluted basis, which we refer to as the “standstill percentage,” without prior approval of a majority of the non-Nextel Communications members of the Board of Directors. We agreed not to take any action that would cause Nextel Communications to hold more than 49.9% of our common equity on a fully diluted basis. If, however, we take action that causes Nextel Communications to hold more than 49.9% of our common equity, Nextel is required to vote all shares in excess of the standstill percentage in the same proportions as votes are cast for such class or series of our voting stock by stockholders other than Nextel Communications and its affiliates.
 
During the term of the Standstill Agreement, Nextel Communications and its controlled affiliates have agreed not to nominate to our Board of Directors, nor will they vote in favor of the election to the Board of Directors, any person that is an affiliate of Nextel Communications if the election of such person to the Board of Directors would result in more than two affiliates of Nextel Communications serving as directors. Nextel Communications has also agreed that if at any time during the term of the Standstill Agreement more than two of its affiliates are directors, it will use its reasonable efforts to cause such directors to resign to the extent necessary to reduce the number of directors on our Board of Directors that are affiliates of Nextel Communications to two.
 
We also bill Nextel Communications for roaming charges for their customers’ use of our digital mobile networks in our markets.
 
Transactions with Motorola, Inc.  Through September 2004, we considered Motorola to be a related party.
 
On November 12, 2002, as part of our plan of reorganization, we entered into a new master equipment financing agreement and a new equipment financing agreement with Motorola Credit Corporation. In July 2003, we entered into an agreement to substantially reduce our indebtedness under the international equipment facility to Motorola Credit Corporation. Under this agreement, in September 2003, we prepaid, at face value, $100.0 million of the $225.0 million in outstanding principal under this facility. Concurrently, we entered into an agreement with Motorola Credit Corporation to retire our indebtedness under the Brazil equipment facility. In connection with this agreement, in September 2003, we paid $86.0 million in consideration of all of the $103.2 million in outstanding principal as well as $5.5 million in accrued and unpaid interest under the Brazil equipment facility.
 
In February 2004, in compliance with our international equipment facility credit agreement we prepaid, at face value, $72.5 million of the $125.0 million in outstanding principal to Motorola Credit Corporation using proceeds from a convertible note offering made in January 2004. In July 2004, we paid the remaining $52.6 million in outstanding principal and related accrued interest under our international equipment facility. Under the terms of the international equipment facility and related agreements, Motorola Credit Corporation was a secured creditor and held senior liens on substantially all of our assets, as well as the assets of our various foreign and domestic subsidiaries and affiliates. As a result of the extinguishment of this facility, Motorola Credit Corporation released its liens on these assets, all restrictive covenants under this facility were terminated and all obligations under this facility were discharged. We did not recognize any gain or loss as a result of either of these transactions.


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In addition, prior to the extinguishment of our international equipment facility, Motorola Credit Corporation owned one outstanding share of our Special Director Preferred Stock, which gave Motorola Credit Corporation the right to nominate, elect, remove and replace one member of our board of directors. Mr. Charles F. Wright, one of the directors on our board, was elected by Motorola through these rights under the Special Director Preferred Stock. In connection with the extinguishment of our international equipment facility and Mr. Wright’s resignation as a member of our board of directors on September 13, 2004, Motorola Credit Corporation lost this right to elect one member of our board of directors and is no longer considered to be a related party.
 
We continue to have a number of important strategic and commercial relationships with Motorola. We purchase handsets and accessories and a substantial portion of our digital mobile network equipment and related software from Motorola. Our equipment purchase agreements with Motorola govern our rights and obligations regarding purchases of digital mobile network equipment manufactured by Motorola. We have purchase targets under these agreements that, if not met, may result in us being required to pay higher prices for this equipment. We also have various equipment agreements with Motorola. We and Motorola have agreed to warranty and maintenance programs and specified indemnity arrangements. We also pay Motorola for handset service and repair and training and are reimbursed for costs we incur under various marketing and promotional arrangements.
 
Other Relationship.  On February 14, 2006, we elected Mr. John Donovan, President and Chief Executive Officer of inCode, a wireless business and technology consulting company, to our Board of Directors in order to fill a vacancy. InCode has performed various consulting services for us in the past.
 
 
Operating revenues primarily consist of wireless service revenues and revenues generated from the sale of digital handsets and accessories. Service revenues primarily include fixed monthly access charges for digital mobile telephone service and digital two-way radio and other services, including revenues from calling party pays programs and variable charges for airtime and digital two-way radio usage in excess of plan minutes, long-distance charges and international roaming revenues derived from calls placed by our customers. Digital handset and accessory revenues represent revenues we earn on the sale of digital handsets and accessories to our customers.
 
In addition, we also have other less significant sources of revenues. These revenues primarily include revenues generated from our handset maintenance programs, roaming revenues generated from other companies’ customers that roam on our networks and co-location rental revenues from third-party tenants that rent space on our towers.
 
See “Revenue Recognition” above and Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements included at the end of this annual report on Form 10-K for a description of our revenue recognition methodology.
 
Cost of revenues primarily includes the cost of providing wireless service and the cost of digital handset and accessory sales. Cost of providing service consists largely of costs of interconnection with local exchange carrier facilities and direct switch and transmitter and receiver site costs, including property taxes, expenses related to our handset maintenance programs, insurance costs, utility costs, maintenance costs and rent for the network switches and sites used to operate our digital mobile networks. Interconnection costs have fixed and variable components. The fixed component of interconnection costs consists of monthly flat-rate fees for facilities leased from local exchange carriers. The variable component of interconnection costs, which fluctuates in relation to the volume and duration of wireless calls, generally consists of per-minute use fees charged by wireline and wireless providers for wireless calls from our digital handsets terminating on their networks. Cost of digital handset and accessory sales consists largely of the cost of the handset and accessories, order fulfillment and installation-related expenses, as well as write-downs of digital handset and related accessory inventory for shrinkage or obsolescence.
 
Our service and other revenues and the variable component of our cost of service are primarily driven by the number of digital handsets in service and not necessarily by the number of customers, as one customer may purchase one or many digital handsets. Our digital handset and accessory revenues and cost of digital


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handset and accessory sales are primarily driven by the number of new handsets placed into service as well as handset upgrades provided to existing customers during the year.
 
Selling and marketing expenses includes all of the expenses related to acquiring customers. General and administrative expenses include expenses related to revenue-based taxes, billing, customer care, collections including bad debt, management information systems, spectrum license fees and corporate overhead.
 
1. Year Ended December 31, 2005 vs. Year Ended December 31, 2004
 
 
                                                       
          % of
            % of
                 
    Year Ended
    Consolidated
      Year Ended
    Consolidated
      Change from
   
    December 31,
    Operating
      December 31,
    Operating
      Previous Year    
    2005     Revenues       2004     Revenues       Dollars     Percent    
    (dollars in thousands)    
Operating revenues
                                                     
Service and other revenues
  $ 1,666,613       95   %   $ 1,214,837       95   %   $ 451,776       37   %
Digital handset and accessory revenues
    79,226       5   %     65,071       5   %     14,155       22   %
                                                 
      1,745,839       100   %     1,279,908       100   %     465,931       36   %
                                                 
Cost of revenues
                                                     
Cost of service (exclusive of depreciation and amortization included below)
    (421,037 )     (24 ) %     (332,487 )     (26 ) %     (88,550 )     27   %
Cost of digital handset and accessory sales
    (251,192 )     (15 ) %     (207,112 )     (16 ) %     (44,080 )     21   %
                                                 
      (672,229 )     (39 ) %     (539,599 )     (42 ) %     (132,630 )     25   %
Selling and marketing expenses
    (233,540 )     (13 ) %     (162,343 )     (13 ) %     (71,197 )     44   %
General and administrative expenses
    (355,309 )     (20 ) %     (229,228 )     (18 ) %     (126,081 )     55   %
Depreciation and amortization
    (130,132 )     (7 ) %     (98,375 )     (8 ) %     (31,757 )     32   %
                                                 
Operating income
    354,629       21   %     250,363       19   %     104,266       42   %
Interest expense, net
    (72,470 )     (4 ) %     (55,113 )     (4 ) %     (17,357 )     31   %
Interest income
    32,611       2   %     12,697       1   %     19,914       157   %
Foreign currency transaction gains, net
    3,357               9,210       1   %     (5,853 )     (64 ) %
Debt conversion expense
    (8,930 )     (1 ) %                   (8,930 )     NM    
Loss on early extinguishment of debt
                  (79,327 )     (6 ) %     79,327       (100 ) %
Other expense, net
    (8,621 )     (1 ) %     (2,320 )             (6,301 )     272   %
                                                     
                                                 
Income before income tax provision and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net
    300,576       17   %     135,510       11   %     165,066       122   %
Income tax provision
    (125,795 )     (7 ) %     (79,191 )     (6 ) %     (46,604 )     59   %
                                                 
Income before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net
    174,781       10   %     56,319       5   %     118,462       210   %
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of income taxes of $11,898 in 2004
                  970               (970 )     (100 ) %
                                                 
Net income
  $ 174,781       10   %   $ 57,289       5   %   $ 117,492       205   %
                                                 
 
 
NM-Not Meaningful
 
1.  Operating revenues
 
The $451.8 million, or 37%, increase in consolidated service and other revenues from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily a result of a 29% increase in the average number of total digital handsets in service, an increase in average consolidated revenues per handset and an increase of $30.2 million, or 58%, in consolidated revenues generated from our handset maintenance programs, primarily in Mexico and Brazil.


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The $14.2 million, or 22%, increase in consolidated digital handset and accessory revenues from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to a 38% increase in handset sales, as well as a 2% increase in handset upgrades.
 
2.  Cost of revenues
 
The $88.6 million, or 27%, increase in consolidated cost of service from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is principally a result of the following:
 
  •  a $51.5 million, or 29%, increase in consolidated interconnect costs resulting from a 42% increase in consolidated interconnect minutes of use;
 
  •  a $24.7 million, or 27%, increase in consolidated direct switch and transmitter and receiver site costs resulting from a 25% increase in the number of consolidated transmitter and receiver sites in service from December 31, 2004 to December 31, 2005; and
 
  •  a $10.9 million, or 21%, increase in consolidated service and repair costs mainly resulting from an increase in subscribers participating under our handset maintenance programs, primarily in Mexico and Brazil.
 
The $44.1 million, or 21%, increase in consolidated cost of digital handset and accessory sales from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to a 38% increase in handset sales and a 2% increase in handset upgrades.
 
3.  Selling and marketing expenses
 
The $71.2 million, or 44%, increase in consolidated selling and marketing expenses from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is principally a result of the following:
 
  •  a $41.5 million, or 82%, increase in consolidated indirect commissions resulting from a 51% increase in handset sales earned by outside dealers;
 
  •  a $16.3 million, or 24%, increase in consolidated direct commissions and payroll expenses largely due to an increase in commissions incurred as a result of a 23% increase in handset sales across all markets by internal sales personnel; and
 
  •  a $10.1 million, or 28%, increase in consolidated advertising expenses, primarily in Mexico and Brazil, mainly related to the launch of new markets and increased advertising initiatives related to overall subscriber growth.
 
4.  General and administrative expenses
 
The $126.1 million, or 55%, increase in consolidated general and administrative expenses from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily a result of the following:
 
  •  a $60.6 million, or 71%, increase in consolidated other general and administrative expenses largely due to $18.6 million related to the gross-up of revenue-based taxes in Brazil, an increase in headcount and facilities-related expenses due to continued subscriber growth and an increase in corporate professional fees related to the annual financial and Sarbanes-Oxley audit and legal services;
 
  •  a $21.3 million, or 38%, increase in consolidated customer care expenses resulting from an increase in payroll and related expenses necessary to support a larger consolidated customer base;
 
  •  a $14.0 million, or 32%, increase from $44.4 million to $58.4 million in spectrum license fees; and
 
  •  a $12.3 million, or 165%, increase in consolidated bad debt expense, which increased slightly as a percentage of revenues from 0.6% in 2004 to 1.1% in 2005, primarily in Brazil and Mexico. We do not expect bad debt expense as a percentage of revenues to increase significantly in future periods.


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The increase in general and administrative expenses is also due to a $14.4 million reversal of contingent liabilities in Brazil that we recorded as a reduction to general and administrative expenses during the year ended December 31, 2004, partially offset by $1.7 million of net reversals of contingent liabilities in Brazil related to the expiration of the statute of limitations that we recorded as a reduction to general and administrative expenses during the fourth quarter of 2005. We are continuing to evaluate the likelihood of probable and reasonably possible losses, if any, related to all known contingencies. As a result, future increases or decreases to our accrued liabilities may be necessary and will be recorded in the period when such charge is probable and estimable.
 
5.  Depreciation and amortization
 
The $31.8 million, or 32%, increase in consolidated depreciation and amortization from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to increased deprecation on a larger base of consolidated property, plant and equipment resulting from continued expansion of our digital mobile networks, partially offset by a decrease in amortization. The decrease in amortization resulted from reversals that we recorded primarily in the fourth quarter of 2004 of certain valuation allowances for deferred tax assets. We recorded the reversals of valuation allowances as reductions to the intangible assets that existed as of the date of our application of fresh-start accounting.
 
6.   Interest expense, net
 
The $17.4 million, or 31%, increase in consolidated net interest expense from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to a $14.0 million increase in interest incurred related to our syndicated loan facility in Mexico that we drew down in May 2005 and an $8.3 million increase in interest related to our tower financing obligations in Mexico and Brazil, partially offset by a $2.9 million decrease in interest resulting from the principal pay-downs of our international equipment facility in February 2004 and July 2004 and a $2.8 million decrease in interest resulting from the retirement of our 13.0% senior secured discount notes during the first quarter of 2004.
 
7.   Interest income
 
The $19.9 million, or 157%, increase in interest income from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is largely the result of increases in Nextel Mexico’s average consolidated cash balances due to the draw-down of Nextel Mexico’s $250.0 million syndicated loan facility in May 2005 and cash generated from operations, as well as interest earned in the U.S. on the $350.0 million proceeds received from the issuance of our 2.75% convertible notes in August 2005.
 
8.   Foreign currency transaction gains, net
 
Foreign currency transaction gains, net, during the years ended December 31, 2004 and 2005 are primarily related to gains in Mexico due to the impact of increases in the average values of the Mexican peso on Nextel Mexico’s U.S. dollar-denominated liabilities.
 
9.   Debt conversion expense
 
The $8.9 million debt conversion expense represents consideration that we paid in connection with the conversion of $88.5 million of our 3.5% convertible notes during the second quarter of 2005.
 
10.   Loss on early extinguishment of debt
 
The $79.3 million loss on early extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2004 represents the loss that we incurred in connection with the retirement of substantially all of our 13.0% senior secured discount notes through a cash tender offer in the first quarter of 2004.


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11.   Other expense, net
 
The $6.3 million, or 272%, increase in other expense, net, from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is largely due to $4.2 million in realized losses related to Nextel Mexico’s hedge of capital expenditures and handset purchases that we reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive loss during 2005.
 
12.   Income tax provision
 
The $46.6 million, or 59%, increase in the income tax provision from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to a $165.1 million increase in income before tax, partially offset by a decrease in our effective tax rate attributable to a large addition to our deferred tax asset valuation allowance in 2004 that did not recur in 2005.
 
13.   Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net
 
The $1.0 million cumulative effect of change in accounting principle for the year ended December 31, 2004 represents net income for our foreign operating companies for the one month ended December 31, 2003. We accounted for the elimination of the one-month lag reporting policy as a change in accounting principle in accordance with APB Opinion No. 20 effective January 1, 2004. As a result, we treated the month of December 2003, which is normally the first month in the fiscal year of our foreign operating companies, as the lag month, and our fiscal year for all of our foreign operating companies now begins with January and ends with December.
 
Segment Results
 
We evaluate performance of our segments and provide resources to them based on operating income before depreciation and amortization and impairment, restructuring and other charges, which we refer to as segment earnings. We allocated $68.1 million, $56.6 million and $18.8 million in corporate overhead costs to Nextel Mexico during the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively, and we treat a portion of these allocated amounts as tax deductions, where relevant. The segment information below does not reflect any allocations of corporate overhead costs because the amounts of these expenses are not provided to or used by our chief operating decision maker in making operating decisions related to these segments. The tables below provide a summary of the components of our consolidated segments for the years ended December 31, 2005 and 2004. The results of Nextel Chile are included in “Corporate and other.”
 
                                                         
                                  % of
       
                                  Consolidated
       
          % of
          % of
    Selling,
    Selling,
       
          Consolidated
          Consolidated
    General and
    General and
    Segment
 
Year Ended
  Operating
    Operating
    Cost of
    Cost of
    Administrative
    Administrative
    Earnings
 
December 31, 2005
  Revenues     Revenues     Revenues     Revenues     Expenses     Expenses     (Losses)  
    (dollars in thousands)  
 
Nextel Mexico
  $ 1,013,320       58 %   $ (310,043 )     46 %   $ (303,579 )     51 %   $ 399,698  
Nextel Brazil
    347,530       20 %     (176,718 )     26 %     (126,621 )     21 %     44,191  
Nextel Argentina
    269,572       15 %     (130,011 )     20 %     (68,729 )     12 %     70,832  
Nextel Peru
    114,201       7 %     (54,634 )     8 %     (33,196 )     6 %     26,371  
Corporate and other
    1,886             (1,493 )           (56,724 )     10 %     (56,331 )
Intercompany eliminations
    (670 )           670                          
                                                         
Total consolidated
  $ 1,745,839       100 %   $ (672,229 )     100 %   $ (588,849 )     100 %        
                                                         
 


62


 

                                                         
                                  % of
       
                                  Consolidated
       
          % of
          % of
    Selling,
    Selling,
       
          Consolidated
          Consolidated
    General and
    General and
    Segment
 
Year Ended
  Operating
    Operating
    Cost of
    Cost of
    Administrative
    Administrative
    Earnings
 
December 31, 2004
  Revenues     Revenues     Revenues     Revenues     Expenses     Expenses     (Losses)  
    (dollars in thousands)  
 
Nextel Mexico
  $ 775,925       61 %   $ (245,760 )     46 %   $ (205,915 )     53 %   $ 324,250  
Nextel Brazil
    212,016       17 %     (143,025 )     27 %     (55,460 )     14 %     13,531  
Nextel Argentina
    194,799       15 %     (101,829 )     19 %     (50,874 )     13 %     42,096  
Nextel Peru
    96,070       7 %     (47,777 )     8 %     (28,441 )     7 %     19,852  
Corporate and other
    1,574             (1,684 )           (50,881 )     13 %     (50,991 )
Intercompany eliminations
    (476 )           476                          
                                                         
Total consolidated
  $ 1,279,908       100 %   $ (539,599 )     100 %   $ (391,571 )     100 %        
                                                         
 
A discussion of the results of operations in each of our reportable segments is provided below.
 
 
                                                       
          % of
            % of
                 
          Nextel
            Nextel
                 
    Year Ended
    Mexico’s
      Year Ended
    Mexico’s
      Change from
   
    December 31,
    Operating
      December 31,
    Operating
      Previous Year    
    2005     Revenues       2004     Revenues       Dollars     Percent    
    (dollars in thousands)    
 
Operating revenues
                                                     
Service and other revenues
  $ 986,936       97   %   $ 749,923       97   %   $ 237,013       32   %
Digital handset and accessory revenues
    26,384       3   %     26,002       3   %     382       1   %
                                                 
      1,013,320       100   %     775,925       100   %     237,395       31   %
                                                 
Cost of revenues
                                                     
Cost of service (exclusive of depreciation and amortization included below)
    (176,670 )     (17 ) %     (135,355 )     (17 ) %     (41,315 )     31   %
Cost of digital handset and accessory sales
    (133,373 )     (13 ) %     (110,405 )     (15 ) %     (22,968 )     21   %
                                                 
      (310,043 )     (30 ) %     (245,760 )     (32 ) %     (64,283 )     26   %
Selling and marketing expenses
    (148,096 )     (15 ) %     (101,503 )     (13 ) %     (46,593 )     46   %
General and administrative expenses
    (155,483 )     (15 ) %     (104,412 )     (13 ) %     (51,071 )     49   %
                                                 
Segment earnings
    399,698       40   %     324,250       42   %     75,448       23   %
Depreciation and amortization
    (69,300 )     (7 ) %     (67,322 )     (9 ) %     (1,978 )     3   %
                                                 
Operating income
    330,398       33   %     256,928       33   %     73,470       29   %
Interest expense, net
    (28,670 )     (3 ) %     (18,902 )     (2 ) %     (9,768 )     52   %
Interest income
    22,465       2   %     3,648               18,817       NM    
Foreign currency transaction gains, net
    2,602               8,613       1   %     (6,011 )     (70 ) %
Other expense, net
    (4,167 )             (576 )             (3,591 )     NM    
                                                 
Income before income tax and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net
  $ 322,628       32   %   $ 249,711       32   %   $ 72,917       29   %
                                                 
 
 
NM-Not Meaningful

63


 

Nextel Mexico is our largest and most profitable market segment, comprising 58% of our consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2005. In recent years, we have directed a substantial portion of our capital investment to Nextel Mexico. Nextel Mexico’s profitability is a result of subscriber growth with increasing average revenues per subscriber and operating costs maintained relatively in line with revenues. Additional subscriber growth was the result of selectively expanding coverage in new markets and improving network quality and capacity. Coverage expansion and network improvements were attributable to capital expenditures totaling $208.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2005 and a 44% share of all capital expenditure investments that we made during 2005, a trend that we expect will likely continue in the near future. Average revenues per subscriber improved due to the implementation of new rate plans, increased minutes of use in interconnect and dispatch traffic and favorable exchange rates. Nextel Mexico also decreased its customer turnover by making concentrated investments in customer retention programs. We expect subscriber growth in Mexico to continue as we build out new markets over the next one to two years using spectrum licenses that we acquired in March 2005 in the 800 MHz auctions.
 
In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, we translated Nextel Mexico’s results of operations using the average exchange rate for the year ended December 31, 2005. The average exchange rate of the Mexican peso for the year ended December 31, 2005 appreciated in value against the U.S. dollar by 4% from the year ended December 31, 2004. As a result, compared to 2004, the components of Nextel Mexico’s results of operations for 2005 after translation into U.S. dollars reflect higher increases than would have occurred if it were not for the impact of the appreciation in the average value of the peso.
 
1.   Operating revenues
 
The $237.0 million, or 32%, increase in service and other revenues from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to the following:
 
  •  a 28% increase in the average number of digital handsets in service resulting from Nextel Mexico’s expansion of service coverage into new markets in 2005, as well as growth in existing markets;
 
  •  a $7.7 million, or 28%, increase in revenues generated from Nextel Mexico’s handset maintenance program due to growth in the number of Nextel Mexico’s customers that are utilizing this program; and
 
  •  an increase in average revenues per handset on a local currency basis largely due to price increases applied to the existing customer base, as well as higher access revenues.
 
2.   Cost of revenues
 
The $41.3 million, or 31%, increase in cost of service from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is principally due to the following:
 
  •  a $29.8 million, or 41%, increase in interconnect costs generally resulting from a 45% increase in interconnect minutes of use;
 
  •  a $7.6 million, or 37%, increase in service and repair costs largely due to increased activity under Nextel Mexico’s handset maintenance program; and
 
  •  a $4.5 million, or 12%, increase in direct switch and transmitter and receiver site costs resulting from a 34% increase in the number of transmitter and receiver sites in service from December 31, 2004 to December 31, 2005, partially offset by a $3.4 million reduction in certain spectrum fees due to a favorable court ruling received during the fourth quarter of 2005.
 
The $23.0 million, or 21%, increase in cost of digital handset and accessory sales from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to a 43% increase in handset sales, as well as an increase in handset upgrades.


64


 

3.   Selling and marketing expenses
 
The $46.6 million, or 46%, increase in selling and marketing expenses from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily a result of the following:
 
  •  a $32.4 million, or 92%, increase in indirect commissions primarily due to a 59% increase in handset sales by Nextel Mexico’s outside dealers and higher indirect commission earned per handset sale;
 
  •  a $7.5 million, or 21%, increase in direct commissions and payroll expenses principally due to a 15% increase in handset sales by Nextel Mexico’s sales personnel; and
 
  •  a $4.7 million, or 18%, increase in advertising costs largely due to the launch of new markets, the launch of new rate plans in 2005, international Direct Connect campaigns, which were generally launched in the middle of 2004, and objectives to reinforce market awareness of the Nextel brand name.
 
4.  General and administrative expenses
 
The $51.1 million, or 49%, increase in general and administrative expenses from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is largely a result of the following:
 
  •  a $23.9 million, or 78%, increase in general corporate costs resulting from an increase in payroll and related expenses caused by more general and administrative personnel, higher business insurance expenses and increased facilities costs due to expansion into new markets;
 
  •  a $9.6 million, or 34%, increase in customer care expenses primarily due to higher payroll and employee related expenses caused by an increase in customer care personnel necessary to support a larger customer base;
 
  •  an $8.3 million, or 27%, increase in spectrum license fees; and
 
  •  a $6.1 million increase in bad debt expense, which increased slightly as a percentage of revenues from 0.4% in 2004 to 0.9% in 2005.
 
5.  Depreciation and amortization
 
Depreciation and amortization increased $2.0 million, or 3%, from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 due to an increase in depreciation, partially offset by a decrease in amortization. Depreciation increased $11.6 million, or 22%, primarily as a result of an increase in Nextel Mexico’s property, plant and equipment mostly due to the continued build-out of Nextel Mexico’s digital mobile network. This increase was partially offset by a $9.6 million, or 68%, decrease in amortization due to a reversal recorded primarily in the fourth quarter of 2004 of certain valuation allowances for deferred tax assets that were created in connection with our application of fresh-start accounting and which we recorded as a reduction to intangible assets.
 
6.  Interest expense, net
 
The $9.8 million, or 52%, increase in net interest expense from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is largely a result of $14.0 million of interest expense incurred in 2005 on Nextel Mexico’s syndicated loan facility, which we drew down in May 2005, and an increase in interest related to tower financing obligations, partially offset by a decrease in interest resulting from the principal pay-downs on Nextel Mexico’s portion of the international equipment facility in February and July 2004.
 
7.  Interest income
 
The $18.8 million increase in interest income from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is largely the result of an increase in Nextel Mexico’s average cash balances resulting primarily from the draw-down of Nextel Mexico’s $250.0 million syndicated loan facility in May 2005 and cash generated from operations.


65


 

8.  Foreign currency transaction gains, net
 
Foreign currency transaction gains of $2.6 million and $8.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2005 and 2004 are mostly due to the impact of the relative strengthening of the peso compared to the U.S. dollar on Nextel Mexico’s U.S. dollar-denominated liabilities.
 
9.  Other expense, net
 
Other expense, net of $4.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2005 is due to $4.2 million in realized losses related to Nextel Mexico’s hedge of capital expenditures and handset purchases that we reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive loss during 2005.
 
 
                                                       
          % of
            % of
                 
          Nextel
            Nextel
                 
    Year Ended
    Brazil’s
      Year Ended
    Brazil’s
      Change from
   
    December 31,
    Operating
      December 31,
    Operating
      Previous Year    
    2005     Revenues       2004     Revenues       Dollars     Percent    
    (dollars in thousands)    
 
Operating revenues
                                                     
Service and other revenues
  $ 321,655       93   %   $ 192,830       91   %   $ 128,825       67   %
Digital handset and accessory revenues
    25,875       7   %     19,186       9   %     6,689       35   %
                                                 
      347,530       100   %     212,016       100   %     135,514       64   %
                                                 
Cost of revenues
                                                     
Cost of service (exclusive of depreciation and amortization included below)
    (117,567 )     (34 ) %     (92,820 )     (44 ) %     (24,747 )     27   %
Cost of digital handset and accessory sales
    (59,151 )     (17 ) %     (50,205 )     (23 ) %     (8,946 )     18   %
                                                 
      (176,718 )     (51 ) %     (143,025 )     (67 ) %     (33,693 )     24   %
Selling and marketing expenses
    (46,949 )     (13 ) %     (29,161 )     (14 ) %     (17,788 )     61   %
General and administrative expenses
    (79,672 )     (23 ) %     (26,299 )     (13 ) %     (53,373 )     203   %
                                                 
Segment earnings
    44,191       13   %     13,531       6   %     30,660       227   %
Depreciation and amortization
    (31,768 )     (9 ) %     (13,081 )     (6 ) %     (18,687 )     143   %
                                                 
Operating income
    12,423       4   %     450               11,973       NM    
Interest expense, net
    (18,113 )     (5 ) %     (12,054 )     (6 ) %     (6,059 )     50   %
Interest income
    1,941               2,733       1   %     (792 )     (29 ) %
Foreign currency transaction gains, net
    225               575               (350 )     (61 ) %
Other expense, net
    (3,817 )     (1 ) %     (1,819 )             (1,998 )     110   %
                                                 
Loss before income tax and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net
  $ (7,341 )     (2 ) %   $ (10,115 )     (5 ) %   $ 2,774       (27 ) %
                                                 
 
 
NM-Not Meaningful
 
Over the last two years, Nextel Brazil’s subscriber base and segment earnings have continued to increase as a result of a continued focus on customer service, the expansion of its digital mobile network and significant improvements in its operating cost structure. In addition to these factors, as a result of the improvement in the Brazilian economy over the same period, Nextel Brazil has continued to grow its existing


66


 

markets and made significant investments in new markets. Over the next two years, Nextel Brazil plans to continue to expand its digital mobile network, grow its subscriber base and improve its operating margins through economies of scale and interconnect savings resulting from amended interconnect regulations implemented in May 2005.
 
In accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, we translated Nextel Brazil’s results of operations using the average exchange rate for the year ended December 31, 2005. The average exchange rate for the year ended December 31, 2005 appreciated against the U.S. dollar by 20% from the year ended December 31, 2004. As a result, the components of Nextel Brazil’s results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2005 after translation into U.S. dollars reflect significantly higher increases than would have occurred if it were not for the impact of the appreciation in the average value of the real.
 
1.  Operating revenues
 
The $128.8 million, or 67%, increase in service and other revenues from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily a result of the following:
 
  •  a 28% increase in the average number of digital handsets in service resulting from growth in Nextel Brazil’s existing markets, as well as expansion into new markets;
 
  •  $18.6 million related to the gross-up of revenue-based taxes that were presented on a net basis in 2004;
 
  •  the 20% appreciation of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar; and
 
  •  an $11.6 million increase, or 174%, in revenues generated from Nextel Brazil’s handset maintenance program due to growth in Nextel Brazil’s existing markets, as well as expansion into new markets.
 
The $6.7 million, or 35%, increase in digital handset and accessory revenues from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is largely the result of a 36% increase in handset sales.
 
2.  Cost of revenues
 
The $24.7 million, or 27%, increase in cost of service from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to the following:
 
  •  a $15.1 million, or 55%, increase in direct switch and transmitter and receiver site costs resulting from a 25% increase in the number of transmitter and receiver sites in service from December 31, 2004 to December 31, 2005, as well as an increase in cost per site in service;
 
  •  a $4.4 million, or 8%, increase in interconnect costs mainly resulting from a 43% increase in interconnect minutes of use, partially offset by a significant reduction of these costs due to amended interconnect regulations implemented in May 2005 that have the effect of treating Nextel Brazil on the same basis with respect to billing for use of other mobile networks as other Brazilian wireless operators currently have in place;
 
  •  a $3.1 million, or 45%, increase in payroll and employee related costs resulting from an increase in personnel and various training costs; and
 
  •  a $2.7 million, or 31%, increase in service and repair costs primarily due to an increase in subscribers participating under Nextel Brazil’s handset maintenance program.
 
The $8.9 million, or 18%, increase in cost of digital handset and accessory sales from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to a 36% increase in handset sales.
 
All of these increases also resulted from the 20% appreciation of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar.


67


 

3.  Selling and marketing expenses
 
The $17.8 million, or 61%, increase in selling and marketing expenses from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is principally due to the following:
 
  •  a $7.1 million, or 50%, increase in payroll and direct commissions largely as a result of a 37% increase in handset sales by Nextel Brazil’s sales force;
 
  •  a $4.8 million, or 73%, increase in indirect commissions resulting from a 36% increase in handset sales by Nextel Brazil’s outside dealers, as well as increases in indirect commissions earned per handset sale; and
 
  •  a $4.7 million, or 87%, increase in advertising expenses due to the implementation of more advertising campaigns during 2005 primarily as a result of increased initiatives related to overall subscriber growth and the launch of new markets.
 
All of these increases also resulted from the 20% appreciation of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar.
 
4.  General and administrative expenses
 
The $53.4 million, or 203%, increase in general and administrative expenses from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily a result of the following:
 
  •  a $40.5 million increase in general corporate costs mainly due to $18.6 million related to the gross-up of revenue-based taxes that were presented on a net basis in 2004 and a $14.4 million reversal of contingent liabilities that we recorded as a reduction to general and administrative expenses during 2004 related to the expiration of the statute of limitations and the favorable resolution of other contingencies, partially offset by $1.7 million in contingency reversals recorded in the fourth quarter of 2005;
 
  •  an $8.7 million, or 65%, increase in customer care expenses resulting from an increase in payroll and related expenses due to more customer care personnel necessary to support a larger customer base; and
 
  •  a $4.4 million increase in bad debt expense, which increased as a percentage of revenues from 1.7% in 2004 to 2.3% in 2005, primarily related to certain municipal accounts that temporarily suspended payments of all services, but which began to pay in mid-2005.
 
All of these increases also resulted from the 20% appreciation of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar.
 
5.   Depreciation and amortization
 
The $18.7 million, or 143%, increase in depreciation and amortization from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to increased depreciation on Nextel Brazil’s significantly higher property, plant and equipment base primarily as a result of accelerating the build-out of Nextel Brazil’s digital mobile network, as well as the 20% appreciation of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar.
 
6.   Interest expense, net
 
The $6.1 million, or 50%, increase in net interest expense, from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily the result of increased interest incurred on Nextel Brazil’s tower financing obligations, as well as the 20% appreciation of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar.
 
7.   Other expense, net
 
The $2.0 million, or 110%, increase in other expense from the year ended December 31, 2004 to the year ended December 31, 2005 is primarily due to more reversals of monetary corrections on certain contingencies during 2004 compared to 2005.


68


 

 
 
                                                       
          % of
            % of
                 
          Nextel
            Nextel
                 
    Year Ended
    Argentina’s
      Year Ended
    Argentina’s
      Change from
   
    December 31,
    Operating
      December 31,
    Operating
      Previous Year    
    2005     Revenues       2004     Revenues       Dollars     Percent    
    (dollars in thousands)    
 
Operating revenues
                                                     
Service and other revenues
  $ 248,262       92   %   $ 177,658       91   %   $ 70,604       40   %
Digital handset and accessory revenues
    21,310       8   %     17,141       9   %     4,169       24   %
                                                 
      269,572       100   %     194,799       100   %     74,773       38   %
                                                 
Cost of revenues
                                                     
Cost of service (exclusive of depreciation and amortization included below)
    (89,687 )     (33 ) %     (68,806 )     (35 ) %     (20,881 )     30   %
Cost of digital handset and accessory sales
    (40,324 )     (15 ) %     (33,023 )     (17 ) %     (7,301 )     22   %
                                                 
      (130,011