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Trouble everywhere

Nextel began its journey in Latin America as an Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) trunking operator, providing the famous push-to-talk (PTT) radio service based on a technology developed by Motorola. It did not take long for Nextel to become the apple of corporate clients' eyes, until PTT radio lost appeal amid the expansion of smartphones and internet messaging services, and parent NII Holdings moved to acquire radiofrequency spectrum to provide data and voice via 3G technology.

The move to position Nextel as a competitive player in the mobile broadband field came too late, and the company filed for Chapter 11 in 2014.

Nearly two years after emerging from bankruptcy, NII Holdings sold Nextel's operations in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru as part of its restructuring process, and concentrated its entire operation in Brazil - a country undergoing its deepest and longest recession on record. The company, it seemed, couldn't catch a break.  

(Nextel Peru was sold in 2013 to Chile's Entel for US$400mn; Nextel Chile went to WOM in 2015 and Nextel Mexico was acquired by AT&T that same year. The Nextel Argentina brand continues to operate under the umbrella of Grupo Clarín, and was granted by new telecom regulator Enacom the greenlight to provide 4G mobile services, making it the fourth mobile operator in the country.)

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