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NIHD > SEC Filings for NIHD > Form 10-Q on 7-Aug-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for NII HOLDINGS INC

Form 10-Q for NII HOLDINGS INC


7-Aug-2012

Quarterly Report


Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and
Results of Operations

    INDEX TO MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
  OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

  Introduction                                   43
  Business Overview                              43
  Handsets and Devices in Commercial Service     47
  Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates     47
  Results of Operations                          48
  a. Consolidated                                50
  b. Nextel Brazil                               53
  c. Nextel Mexico                               55
  d. Nextel Argentina                            57
  e. Nextel Peru                                 58
  f. Corporate and other                         59
  Liquidity and Capital Resources                60
  Future Capital Needs and Resources             61
  Effect of New Accounting Standards             63
  Forward-Looking Statements                     63


Introduction
The following is a discussion and analysis of:
• our consolidated financial condition as of June 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011 and our consolidated results of operations for the six- and three-month periods ended June 30, 2012 and 2011; and

• significant factors which we believe could affect our prospective financial condition and results of operations.

You should read this discussion in conjunction with our annual report on Form 10-K and our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2012, including, but not limited to, the discussion regarding our critical accounting policies and estimates, as described below. See Note 8 to our condensed consolidated financial statements for revisions to the condensed consolidated financial statements included in these previously filed documents. Historical results may not indicate future performance. See "Forward Looking Statements" and "Item 1A. - Risk Factors" in our annual report on Form 10-K for risks and uncertainties that may impact our future performance.
We refer to our operating companies by the countries in which they operate, such as Nextel Brazil, Nextel Mexico, Nextel Argentina, Nextel Peru and Nextel Chile. Business Overview
We provide wireless communication services under the NextelTM brand, primarily targeted at meeting the needs of customers who use our services to improve the productivity of their businesses and customers who make the individual decision to use our service for both professional and personal needs. Our customers generally value our broad set of value-added services, including our Nextel Direct Connect® feature, and our high level of customer service. As we deploy our next generation networks using wideband code division multiple access, or WCDMA, technology in our markets, we plan to extend our target market to include additional business customers and high-value consumers who exhibit above average usage, revenue and loyalty characteristics and who we believe will be attracted to the services supported by our new networks and the quality of our customer service.
We provide our services through operating companies located in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Chile with our principal operations located in major business centers and related transportation corridors of these countries. We provide our services in major urban and suburban centers with high population densities where we believe there is a concentration of the country's business users and economic activity. We believe that the growing economic base, increase in the middle and upper classes, lower wireline service penetration and the expanded coverage of wireless networks in these business centers encourage the use of the mobile wireless communications services that we offer and plan to offer in the future. Our new WCDMA-based networks are expected to serve these major business centers and a broader geographic area in order to reach more potential customers and, in some instances, to meet the requirements of our spectrum licenses.
Our original networks utilize integrated digital enhanced network, or iDEN, technology developed by Motorola, Inc. to provide our mobile services on our 800 MHz spectrum holdings in all of our markets. Our current and planned next generation networks will utilize WCDMA technology, which is a standards-based technology that is being deployed by carriers throughout the world. These technologies allow us to use our spectrum efficiently and offer multiple wireless services integrated into a variety of handset and data devices. The services we currently offer include:
• mobile telephone service;

• Nextel Direct Connect® and International Direct Connect® service, which allows subscribers to talk to each other instantly, on a "push-to-talk" basis, for private one-to-one calls or group calls;

• value-added services, including text messaging services; mobile internet services; e-mail services; location-based services, which include the use of Global Positioning System, or GPS, technologies; digital media services; and a wide ranging set of applications available via our content management system, as well as the Android open application market;

• business solutions, such as security, work force management, logistics support and other applications that help our business customers improve their productivity; and

• international roaming services.

We have begun offering services on our new WCDMA-based networks in Peru and Chile, and we are currently in the process of designing and building new WCDMA-based networks in Brazil and Mexico. We expect to begin offering services supported by these new networks later this year.
Our goal is to generate increased revenues and grow our subscriber base, or the number of handsets and devices on our networks, by providing differentiated wireless communications services that are valued by our customers while improving our


profitability and cash flow over the long term. Our strategy for achieving this goal is based on several core principles, including:
• focusing on higher value customer segments such as segments that comprise the small, medium and large business markets, as well as certain targeted consumer market segments that value our differentiated wireless communications services;

• offering a broad array of differentiated services and devices that build upon and complement our Nextel Direct Connect® service, the long range walkie-talkie service that allows instantaneous communication at the touch of a button;

• building on the strength of the unique positioning of the Nextel brand;

• capitalizing on the effectiveness and efficiency of our focused and dedicated distribution channels; and

• offering a superior customer experience.

In pursuit of this goal, we are expanding our distribution and service channels to create more accessible and efficient ways for our customers to purchase our services and utilize our customer support teams.
We may also explore financially attractive opportunities to expand our network coverage in areas that we do not currently serve or plan to serve, for example by entering into roaming agreements with other wireless carriers and by participating in future spectrum auctions.
We believe that the wireless communications industry in the markets in which we operate has been and will continue to be highly competitive on the basis of price, the types of services offered, the diversity of handsets offered, speed of data access and the quality of service. In each of our markets, we compete with at least two large, well-capitalized competitors with substantial financial and other resources. Our competitors typically have more extensive distribution channels than ours or are able to use their scale advantages to acquire subscribers at a lower cost than we can, and most of them have implemented network technology upgrades that support high speed internet access and video telephony services, making it more difficult for us to compete effectively in areas where our new networks have not been fully deployed. Some of these competitors also have the ability to offer bundled telecommunications services that include local, long distance, subscription television and data services, and can offer a larger variety of handsets with a wide range of prices, brands and features. In addition, the financial strength and operating scale of some of these competitors allows them to offer aggressive pricing plans, including those targeted at attracting our existing customers.
We compete with other communications service providers, including other wireless communications companies and wireline telephone companies, based primarily on our high quality customer service and differentiated wireless service offerings and products, including our Direct Connect services that make it easier for our customers to communicate quickly and efficiently. Historically, our largest competitors have focused their marketing efforts on customers in the mass market retail and consumer segments who purchase services largely on the basis of price rather than quality of service, but recently those competitors have placed more emphasis on attracting postpaid customers within our target segments, which are considered the premium customer segments in our markets because they typically generate higher average monthly revenue per subscriber. Although competitive pricing of services and the variety and pricing of handsets are often important factors in a customer's decision making process, we believe that the users who primarily make up our targeted customer base are also likely to base their purchase decisions on quality of service and customer support, as well as on the availability of differentiated features and services, like our Direct Connect services, that make it easier for them to communicate quickly, efficiently and economically.
We have implemented a strategy that we believe will position us to achieve our long-term goal of generating profitable growth. Some of the key components of that strategy are as follows:
Targeting High Value Customers. Our main focus is on high value customer segments such as segments that comprise the small, medium and large business markets, as well as certain targeted consumer market segments that value our differentiated wireless communications services, including our Direct Connect feature and our high level of customer service. As we deploy our planned WCDMA-based networks, we plan to extend our target market to additional corporate customers and high-value consumers who exhibit above average usage, revenue and loyalty characteristics and who we believe will be attracted to the services supported by our new networks and the quality of our customer service. Providing Differentiated Services. We differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering unique services like our "push-to-talk" service, which we refer to as Direct Connect. This service, which is available throughout our service areas, provides significant value to our customers by allowing instantaneous communication at the touch of a button and the ability to communicate on a one-to-many basis. In 2011, we launched Direct Connect services utilizing our new WCDMA-based network in Peru as part of our effort to maintain this key point of differentiation as we offer services on our new networks. Our competitors have introduced competitive push-to-talk over cellular products, and while we do not believe that these services offer the same level of performance as our Direct Connect service in terms of latency, quality, reliability or ease of use, our competitors could deploy new or upgraded technologies in their networks that could enable them to implement new features and services that compete more effectively with our Direct Connect service. We add further value by designing customized business solutions that enhance the productivity of our customers based on their individualized business needs. These business solutions include fleet and workforce management services


that utilize the unique capabilities of our data network, such as vehicle and delivery tracking, GPS technology, order entry processing and workforce monitoring applications.
Building on the Strength of the Nextel Brand. Since 2002, we have offered services under the Nextel brand. As a result of our efforts, the Nextel brand is recognized across our markets as standing for both quality of service and the differentiated services and customer support we provide. This positioning of our brand allowed us to successfully build our subscriber base of high value customers who are attracted to our differentiated services and our reputation for providing a high quality customer experience. To expand the value of that positioning, in 2011 we launched a new brand identity in each of our markets and at the corporate level, which we believe will enhance the recognition of our brand and unify our brand identity across our markets as we seek to expand our target market to include new customer segments.
Capitalizing on our Distribution Channels. We use a variety of distribution channels that include direct sales representatives, indirect sales agents, retail stores and kiosks, and other customer-convenient sales channels such as online purchasing, and we are targeting those channels at specific customer segments to deliver our service more efficiently and economically. Our direct sales channel primarily focuses on businesses that value our industry expertise and differentiated services, including our ability to design customized business solutions that meet their specific business needs. As we extend our target market to include more high-value consumers, we are expanding our distribution channels to make our services more widely accessible. Our distribution channel expansion will include more retail points-of-sales, including new Nextel stores that will provide not only sales, but also serve as additional points of customer care, collections and brand promotion. We are also expanding our other customer-convenient channels, which include telesales and online channels, to give our prospective and existing customers easier ways to purchase our services. We are making these investments to more efficiently serve our customers and improve the overall productivity of all of our distribution channels, and we expect to see our average sales and related costs to acquire customers decline over time.
Delivering a Superior Customer Experience. In addition to our unique service offerings, we seek to further differentiate ourselves by providing a higher level of customer service than our competitors. We work proactively with our customers to match them with service plans that offer greater value based on the customer's usage patterns. 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, the features and services supported by our multi-function handsets and rate plans. We have also implemented proactive customer retention programs in an effort to increase customer satisfaction and retention. In addition, we are currently making investments to improve the quality and scalability of our customer relationship management systems as part of our ongoing effort to provide a simple, reliable and superior customer service to our growing customer base. Focusing on Major Business Centers. Because we target high value customers, our operations have focused primarily on large urban markets, which have a concentration of medium to high usage business customers and consumers and account for a high proportion of total economic activity in each of their respective countries. We believe these markets offer favorable long-term growth prospects for our wireless communications services while offering the cost benefits associated with providing services in more concentrated population centers. Our new WCDMA-based networks are expected to serve both these major business centers and a broader geographic area in order to reach more potential customers and, in some instances, to meet the requirements of our spectrum licenses. We may also consider selectively expanding into other Latin American countries where we do not currently operate.

Deploying our New Networks. Another key component in our overall strategy is to continue to expand and improve the innovative and differentiated services we offer, which requires that we continue to invest in, evaluate and, if appropriate, deploy new services and enhancements to our existing services. To support this effort, we have acquired additional spectrum rights and are deploying our new WCDMA-based networks that will enable us to offer a wider variety of applications and services, particularly applications and services that are supported by high speed internet access. Use of the WCDMA technology will also increase our network capacity and will reduce the cost of supporting the services we offer when compared to second generation and other prior technologies. These new networks will allow us to continue to offer the differentiated services that our current customers rely on while using the new handsets and devices, service offerings, applications and pricing plans made possible by the new networks to target an expanded customer base.
During 2009 and 2010, we participated in spectrum auctions in Chile, Mexico and Brazil and acquired spectrum required to support our planned next generation networks. We have begun offering services on our new networks in Peru and Chile and are currently in the process of building our WCDMA-based networks in Brazil and Mexico using spectrum licensed to us. We plan to begin offering services supported by these networks later this year.


The following chart details our current material next generation spectrum holdings in each of our markets.

   Country          Spectrum Band                    Amount/Coverage
                                         20 MHz in 11 of 13 regions (includes all
    Brazil         1.9 GHz/2.1 GHz              major metropolitan areas)
    Mexico         1.7 GHz/2.1 GHz                  30 MHz nationwide
     Peru              1.9 GHz                      35 MHz nationwide
    Chile          1.7 GHz/2.1 GHz                  60 MHz nationwide

In the future, we will consider opportunities to acquire additional next generation spectrum in our current markets and may consider acquiring spectrum in new markets in appropriate circumstances. Our decision whether to acquire rights to use additional spectrum would likely be affected by a number of factors, including the spectrum bands available for purchase, the expected cost of acquiring that spectrum and the availability and terms of any financing that we would be required to raise in order to acquire the spectrum and build the networks that will provide services that use that spectrum.
Additionally, we have significant spectrum holdings in the 800 MHz specialized mobile radio, or SMR, spectrum band that support our iDEN networks. Our 800 MHz holdings in each of our markets are as follows:

 Country              Amount/Coverage (1)
 Brazil       15 MHz nationwide weighted average
 Mexico       20 MHz nationwide weighted average
Argentina   20 - 22 MHz nationwide weighted average
  Peru        22 MHz nationwide weighted average
  Chile       15 MHz nationwide weighted average


_______________________________________


(1) Weighted average coverage is a function of the population in each country, as well as the amount of spectrum. Spectrum amounts vary greatly across regions and cities. As we make the transition from our iDEN networks to our new WCDMA-based networks, we will evaluate ways in which we can use our 800 MHz spectrum to support existing or new services. In Brazil and Argentina, some of our current 800 MHz spectrum holdings are contiguous, making it possible to use that spectrum to support future technologies if certain technical, operational and regulatory requirements are met, including, for example, the availability of compatible network and subscriber equipment. The availability of that equipment will likely depend upon a number of things, including the technology decisions made by other wireless carriers and the willingness of infrastructure and device manufacturers to produce the required equipment. In Mexico, Chile and Peru, our 800 MHz spectrum is either partially contiguous or non-contiguous. As a result, while it may be feasible to use a portion of the spectrum that is contiguous to support future technologies, it will be necessary to reconfigure the spectrum band to increase the amount of contiguous spectrum for it to be used to efficiently support those technologies. It is likely that the implementation of such a reconfiguration would require support from and actions by the regulators in those markets to be effective. Preserving Support for iDEN. The iDEN networks that we operate allow us to offer differentiated services like Direct Connect and International Direct Connect while offering high quality voice telephony and other innovative services. The iDEN technology is unique in that it is the only widespread, commercially available technology that operates on non-contiguous spectrum and is optimal for operating efficiently on the 800 MHz SMR spectrum that we currently own. Because Motorola is the sole supplier of iDEN technology, we are dependent on Motorola's support of the evolution of the iDEN technology. In the past, we relied heavily on the development of new features for our networks and handsets and introduced updates and enhanced capabilities on a regular basis. In recent years, we have slowed the introduction of new updates, thereby relying less on new features and technology to support our core business. Sprint Nextel, which has historically been one of the largest purchasers of iDEN technology and provided significant support with respect to new product development for that technology, has announced plans to decommission its iDEN network in the United States in 2013. Sprint Nextel's decision to deactivate its iDEN network could affect Motorola Mobility's ability or willingness to provide support for the development of new iDEN handset models or Motorola Solutions' ability or willingness to provide support for enhancements to the features and functionality of our iDEN networks outside of their contractual obligations. In the last several years, we have led the majority of all iDEN product and handset development activity in support of our customers' needs and therefore have limited the impact of declining iDEN purchases by Sprint Nextel. When roaming in the United States, our existing iDEN subscribers currently have access to voice, data and Direct Connect services on Sprint Nextel's iDEN network pursuant to roaming arrangements we have with Sprint Nextel. In addition, our iDEN subscribers have the ability to use our international Direct Connect service to communicate with Sprint Nextel's customers in the


United States who purchase services supported by Sprint Nextel's iDEN network and customers who purchase Sprint Nextel's Direct Connect services supported by their code division multiple access, or CDMA, network. Once Sprint Nextel completes the deactivation of its iDEN network, our existing iDEN customers will no longer have the ability to use their iDEN handsets in the United States and may have access to a smaller number of Sprint Nextel customers using our international Direct Connect services, although they will continue to be able to communicate with customers who use Direct Connect services on Sprint Nextel's CDMA-based network. This deactivation could affect the willingness of existing Nextel Mexico customers to remain on our network and negatively impact the willingness of potential customers to choose Nextel Mexico's service. We are continuing to review the impact of Sprint Nextel's deactivation plans. In 2011, Motorola completed a separation of its mobile devices and home division into two separate public entities: Motorola Mobility, Inc., to which our iDEN handset supply agreements have been assigned; and Motorola Solutions, Inc., to which our iDEN network infrastructure supply agreements have been assigned. In addition, we have entered into arrangements with Motorola that have now been assigned to and assumed by Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility and that are designed to provide us with a continued source of iDEN network equipment and handsets. In May 2012, Google, Inc. completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which is our primary supplier of iDEN handsets. We do not currently expect any change to Motorola's commitment to deliver iDEN handsets as a result of Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Examples of our existing arrangements with Motorola include:
• Agreements for the supply of iDEN network infrastructure, which are now held by Motorola Solutions, Inc. and are effective through December 31, 2014. Under these agreements, Motorola agreed to maintain an adequate supply of the iDEN equipment used in our business for the term of the agreement and to continue to invest in the development of new iDEN infrastructure features.

• Agreements for the supply of iDEN handsets, which are now held by Motorola Mobility, Inc. and are effective through December 31, 2014. Under these agreements, Motorola agreed to maintain an adequate supply of the iDEN handsets used in our business and to continue to invest in the development of new iDEN devices. In addition, we agreed to handset volume purchase commitments with respect to certain handset models and pricing parameters linked to the volume of our handset purchases, and Motorola agreed to continue to develop and deliver new handsets using the iDEN platform as we develop our WCDMA-based networks in coming years.

The obligations of both Motorola entities under our existing agreements, including the obligation to supply us with iDEN handsets and network equipment, remain in effect.
Handsets and Devices in Commercial Service The table below provides an overview of our total handsets and other devices in commercial service in the countries indicated as of June 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011. For purposes of the table, handsets and devices in commercial service represent all handsets and other devices with active customer accounts on the networks in each of the listed countries.

                                   Brazil    Mexico    Argentina     Peru    Chile     Total
                                                         (in thousands)
Handsets and devices in commercial
 service - December 31, 2011        4,115     3,696        1,388    1,435       78    10,712
Net additions                         115       123          210        8       39       495
Handsets and devices in commercial
 service - June 30, 2012            4,230     3,819        1,598    1,443      117    11,207

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates 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 condensed consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Although we believe that our estimates, assumptions and judgments are reasonable, they are based upon presently available information. Due to the inherent uncertainty involved in making those estimates, actual results reported in future periods could differ from those estimates.
As described in more detail in our annual report on Form 10-K under . . .

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