What’s left of a Reston cellphone pioneer fades into history

The Nextel corporate headquarters is seen December 10, 2004 in Reston, Virginia. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Reston, Virginia-based NII Holdings, whose predecessor Nextel Communications pioneered the push-to-talk cellphone in the 1990s, has filed a petition for dissolution of its business.

The Verified Petition for Dissolution was filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.

The liquidation and dissolution of the company was approved by its board of directors earlier this year, and its stock was delisted from the Nasdaq stock market in January.

Nextel debuted its walkie-talkie-like push-to-talk cellphone service to retail subscribers in 1995. Nextel and Sprint merged in a $35 billion deal in 2005, for a time creating the third-largest wireless company in the U.S.

Sprint later discontinued the Nextel brand and its push-to-talk technology in the U.S. N

II Holdings, a separate, publicly traded company, continued to provide wireless communication services under the Nextel brand in Latin American and Mexican markets.

NII Holdings filed for bankruptcy reorganization in 2015. NII Holdings then began selling its operating companies. In December 2019, the company completed the sale of Nextel Brazil, its sole remaining operating company, to America Movil SAB de CV for $30 million.

NII Holdings said it believes it has sufficient funds to provide security for all of its known and unknown claims. Any distributions to its remaining stockholders will be determined by the bankruptcy court.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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