SOURCE: Nextlink

July 14, 2008 08:00 ET

Nextlink Wins International Grant to Fund WiMAX Innovation & Collaboration

BIRD Foundation Award Will Support Nextlink's R&D Partnership With an Israeli Partner

HERNDON, VA--(Marketwire - July 14, 2008) - Nextlink Wireless, Inc., a leading provider of broadband wireless access solutions and a subsidiary of XO Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: XOHO), today announced that it has received a grant from the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation to develop an innovative, carrier-class WiMAX solution with an Israeli partner. The grant will bring together resources from Israel's research and development community with Nextlink's ability to successfully commercialize and market carrier-grade wireless solutions in the U.S.

The BIRD Foundation was established by the U.S. and Israeli governments in 1977 to generate mutually beneficial cooperation between the private sectors of the U.S. and Israeli high tech industries. BIRD provides matchmaking services between U.S. and Israeli companies and funding up to $1 million for a joint R&D project that will lead to commercialization costs. Each year, BIRD supports approximately 25 projects with approximately $20 million of funding.

"At Nextlink, we're constantly striving to provide our customers with the latest innovations in wireless and we're happy to take advantage of the opportunity to collaborate with a pioneer in the high tech field to develop a next generation solution," said Bob Beran, President and CEO of Nextlink. "The BIRD grant will give Nextlink the opportunity to work with another technology company halfway around the world, taking full advantage of each firm's R&D, manufacturing, testing and marketing capabilities."

The joint initiative will address the gap between current WiMax technology, and the need for carrier-class, standards-based, high-performance devices to deliver commercial communications services over both licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands. The goal will be to develop a new class of wireless broadband access products that builds on the advances enabled by the advent of first generation WiMAX technology.

In Virginia, the BIRD Foundation facilitates U. S. and Israeli company partnerships through The Virginia Israeli Advisory Board (VIAB), an organization that serves as a facilitator for Israeli companies who want to expand their US market penetration through support provided by Virginia. Nextlink is the only Virginia company to be awarded a BIRD grant this cycle. According to Ralph Robbins, the Executive Director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, an Office of the Governor, "Our office works closely with BIRD to team Israeli and Virginia companies who want to develop and market next generation technologies."

"In today's globally competitive marketplace, we celebrate Nextlink's recognition as one of Virginia's most innovative technology firms with whom an Israeli company can partner," said Aneesh Chopra, Virginia's Secretary of Technology. "With the support of this prestigious BIRD grant, we bring two great technology centers together -- Israel and Virginia -- to deliver new products and services to drive the 21st century economy."

In April, Carl Grivner, CEO of XO Holdings, the parent company of Nextlink and XO Communications, traveled to Israel to participate in a VIAB program designed to help nascent Israeli telecommunications companies learn how to partner with established U.S. businesses in the telecom industry. While there, Grivner delivered a presentation on trends in the U.S. telecom landscape and best practices for creating beneficial relationships with seasoned U.S. service providers. Also accompanying Grivner was Randy Nicklas, the Chief Technology Officer for XO Communications. Nicklas spent ten days interviewing the high technology R&D companies interested in the partnering program. The presentation and screening were part of VIAB's "Gateway Via Virginia" program, which is run in conjunction with the Mason Enterprise Center.

"Our industry is based on innovation, and Israel is at the forefront for new and leading edge telecom developments," said Grivner. "XO's work with Israeli companies through VIAB and Nextlink's exciting BIRD grant illustrate our companies' dedication to creating mutually beneficial relationships with industry leaders in Israel who can take advantage of our experience and strong market knowledge here in Virginia."

About Nextlink

Nextlink, a subsidiary of XO Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: XOHO), provides broadband wireless services to the wireless and wireline communications service provider, business and government markets. As one of the nation's largest holders of fixed wireless spectrum, Nextlink delivers high-quality, carrier-grade wireless alternative access solutions that scale to meet the demands of today's converged world of communications -- supporting next-generation mobile and wireline voice, data and video applications. For additional information, visit www.nextlink.com.

About the BIRD Foundation

The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies in the various areas of technology, and provides free assistance in locating strategic partners from both countries for developing joint products. During its 30 years, the BIRD Foundation has invested in more than 740 projects, which have yielded direct and indirect revenues of about $8 billion.

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