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Byline: REINHARDT KRAUSE
Sprint PCS' affiliates -- small wireless phone companies that helped build out Sprint's network -- are facing mounting problems.
The affiliates provide service to 14% of the 17 million people who use the Sprint PCS wireless network. The fourth largest U.S. wireless firm, Sprint PCS is part of long-distance firm Sprint Corp.
The 10 affiliates include four publicly traded firms: Airgate PCS, Alamosa PCS, UbiquiTel and US Unwired.
Bond-rating agencies say some affiliates face liquidity problems amid the wireless industry's credit crunch.
Publicly traded affiliates could be delisted from Nasdaq if their share prices stay below 1 for 30 days. Delisting would make it even harder for them to raise capital.
Slowing subscriber growth, meanwhile, could put some affiliates at risk of missing financial targets set in bank covenants.
None of the affiliates seem to be on the verge of bankruptcy, analysts say. At some point, though, …