FCC Approves Google For Wireless Auction
The 700MHz wireless spectrum auction on January 24th opens with 214 bidders chasing the big prize, with Google competing with an assortment of telecoms both big and small.
As part of the process of lining up bidders who will pay upwards of $4.6 billion to secure a prized block of wireless spectrum, the Federal Communications Commission approved 214 firms for participation in the upcoming auction.
Google Airwaves, the entity listed as Google’s participant in the auction, faces giants like Verizon and AT&T in bidding for the spectrum. Another notable bidder, Vulcan Spectrum, is backed by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
The growing importance of the mobile device for Internet access made the 700MHz spectrum a desirable acquisition. Analog TV broadcasts over that spectrum will be phased out in favor of digital transmissions, and the ability for devices to easily receive 700MHz signals inside buildings created this fervent interest.
This would give the auction winner the ability to deliver whatever services it likes to people in major urban areas, where tall buildings interfere with typical wireless signals. For Google, it means the chance to serve its ad-backed products to thousands of demographically-desirable people in New York and similar places.