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700MHz airspace likely in Verizon hands

updated 09:25 am EST, Wed February 6, 2008

700MHz Likely for Verizon

Second-largest cellular provider Verizon is most likely to have secured the desirable "C" block wireless space in the FCC's 700MHz auction, according to reports from those tracking the industry. Although key player Google is likely to have bid at least $4.6 billion to trigger requirements for open access to any device or software that might run on a future 700MHz wireless network, the Android developer is unlikely to have continued bidding past that point, instead letting its closest rival Verizon produce a higher bid for the "C" block's national access. This would let Google achieve its objective of an open platform for wireless devices without having to actually commit the money necessary for a winning bid, experts say. Google is now believed to instead be mulling an alliance with Yahoo to help fend off Microsoft's hostile takeover bid for Yahoo.

Verizon is also believed to have bid a higher total amount for local licenses than for the "C" block, ensuring that the latter is split among bidders rather than given wholesale to the top bid. Much of this is believed to stem from a desire to close the gap in licensed spectrum between the carrier and its chief opponent AT&T, which just yesterday received federal approval of its deal with Aloha that grants the company a separate block of 700MHz space not subject to the open access rules of the FCC auction. Verizon late last year pledged an open access policy that would allow devices and software sold by other companies to run on its networks regardless of their frequencies.

No matter the winner, the FCC auction is expected to result in a new wide-area calling or Internet access service that would take advantage of the longer range and indoors suitability of 700MHz frequencies. Any such network would be launched no earlier than February 2009, when the airwaves are ceded by analog over-the-air TV broadcasts.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    msft+yahoo a distraction?

    Maybe The whole timing of the MSFT + Yahoo talk was aimed at distracting Google and their money when it came time to bid for this airspace. MSFT hasnt gotten into making their own phones - but the companies they copy everything from are already in that business.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    Think of it this way

    Until much later, the speculation on secretive bidding isn't going to mean jack. I'll believe VZW wins any part of this when I see it. As to whether or not the 'C' block is the most desirable, that's going to depend on who uses it and what services they offer. If VZW owns it, it doesn't sound all that desirable to me with their software platform lock.

    As for Google, it might be more lucrative for them to muscle out any significant competition in the search market- they've already got the hardware to deliver that service and they can let others provide the infrastructure to deliver it. Were I Google, I'd want to perfect that market more than invest in ownership rights to an up-in-coming airspace market.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    right...

    Maybe The whole timing of the MSFT + Yahoo talk was aimed at distracting Google and their money when it came time to bid for this airspace.

    Right, because Google, being run by three guys in a back room somewhere, can't handle more than one item at a time.

    It's obvious Google only bid to push the price to the 'open-access' value, then got out. They have no want to spend money on a spectrum, when they can let others do it and then just deal with devices on the network.

    MSFT hasnt gotten into making their own phones - but the companies they copy everything from are already in that business.

    Doesn't matter. The space is going to be open (in theory). MS could make phones, just like Google or anyone else, all with the potential of working on the space. So MS isn't getting any advantage from this (unless they bid up the space themselves, but even then there's little advantage, because of the open-access reqt.)

    As to whether or not the 'C' block is the most desirable, that's going to depend on who uses it and what services they offer. If VZW owns it, it doesn't sound all that desirable to me with their software platform lock.

    You apparently don't know what is being talked about. They aren't talking about the 'C' block being desirable to the end-user (who the h*** right now knows what spectrum they're running on, anyway?). Its desirable to the people who want airwaves.

    And to say because VZW owns it makes it undesirable is also forgetting the open-access part, which means you don't have the issue of Verizon lock-in.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    Possible? No.

    Sorry, 3G requiers different hardware than the current iPhones have to send/receive over 3G. Look at it this way- if you wait until they make some w/3G, you can have that larger capacity you know you want/need ;-).

  1. chulitomio

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2004

    0

    danviento

    It's not the PC Safari that's causing cross-posts.

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