Google Wants To Buy $4.6 Billion Of Wireless Spectrum

Jul 20th, 2007 | By | Category: General

If you’ve been wondering about the future of wireless devices like the iPhone in the US, Google just dropped a big hint.

Google announced today that, should the Federal Communications Commission adopt a framework requiring greater competition and consumer choice, the company intends to commit a minimum of $4.6 billion to bidding in the upcoming 700 MHz auction.

In a filing with the FCC on July 9, Google urged the Commission to adopt rules for the auction that ensure that, regardless of who wins the spectrum at auction, consumers’ interests are served. Specifically, Google encouraged the FCC to require the adoption of four types of “open” platforms as part of the license conditions:

  • Open applications: Consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
  • Open devices: Consumers should be able to utilize a handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
  • Open services: Third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
  • Open networks: Third parties (like internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee’s wireless network.

In other words – Google wants to remake the wireless phone system to be part of the Internet, and they want to own it.

Opening up wireless spectrum should good for consumers, because wireless devices would not have to be limited by carrier’s interests. But Google’s $4.6 billion bid would give it tremendous new power, and could prove to be the deal of the century if this spectrum ends up being the future of wireless Internet.

Expect an expensive bidding war between Google and current wireless providers that want to preserve their current business models.

More on this at Ars, Daily Wireless, TechMeme

No Responses to “Google Wants To Buy $4.6 Billion Of Wireless Spectrum”

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