Sparkplug Now Owns MetroBridge Assets in Phoenix

Wireless broadband services provider Sparkplug Communications has completed the takeover of Phoenix-area assets from MetroBridge Networks, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company said on Monday.

Sparkplug announced the acquisition in mid-May; it isnt disclosing the financial details. It did say, however, that it sold some holdings in Chicago and Nashville to fund the MetroBridge deal. Sparkplugs customers include businesses, government agencies and educational institutions.

Sparkplug is using the MetroBridge properties to expand into Mesa and South Phoenix. The operator has said it will increase its points of presence in the Valley of the Sun by 33 percent, thanks to the arrangement, and boost its customer base by 13 percent. In a June 28 press release, Sparkplug CEO Michael Ruley said the move brings immediate cash flow to Sparkplug as MetroBridge subscribers are transitioned to Sparkplugs product line.

Sparkplug says it owns its last-mile facilities, almost eliminating voice and data outages because it doesnt have to rely on rivals networks. 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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