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Extend America secures additional funding

BISMARCK, N.D.-Nextel Communications Inc. network partner Extend America, which announced last year plans to build an iDEN-based network using Nextel’s spectrum in a number of rural markets, said it has secured an additional $9.5 million in second stage funding by investors including Catalyst Investors, Nextel, Ignition Partners, Cascade Investment and Greenspun Corp.

Extend, which is led by former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer, noted it recently launched service in Bismarck-Mandan, the surrounding communities and the Interstate-94 corridor linking Bismarck and Nextel’s network in Fargo. The company said it plans to launch additional services in Dickinson, Minot and Beulah-Hazen, N.D., by this summer, and that it holds the exclusive rights to Nextel spectrum in other areas of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska.

In addition to the iDEN-based network, Extend plans to launch wireless broadband services before the end of the year.

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