Sparkplug Plans MetroBridge Assets Buy
By Kelly Teal
May 26, 2010 - News
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Wireless broadband provider Sparkplug Communications plans to buy certain assets from MetroBridge Networks in Arizona.

Sparkplug is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. MetroBridge is based in Vancouver, B.C. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, except that it should close by the end of the second quarter.

Sparkplug said last week it sold some of its holdings in Chicago and Nashville to fund the MetroBridge transaction, so it can expand its reach in the Copper State. The arrangement calls for Sparkplug to take over all of MetroBridge’s customer contracts, network infrastructure and related assets in the Phoenix area. Sparkplug also will increase its points of presence in the Valley of the Sun by 33 percent and boost its customer base by 13 percent.

"We continually look for opportunities to drive better market penetration and integrating MetroBridge into our network broadens our technology footprint in the Valley significantly,” Sparkplug CEO Michael Ruley said in a prepared statement.

Sparkplug says it owns its last-mile network, which gives it an edge over landline and cable rivals. Sparkplug sells services included VoIP, IP trunking and bundled packages to businesses. 

The Phoenix area has relatively strong traditional ILEC and CLEC competition but the options for wireless broadband remain few. Besides Sparkplug, XO Communications, Alltel Wireless (now owned by Verizon) and a smattering of smaller companies also serve the Phoenix market. Sparkplug sells direct and through channel partners.

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