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Google announced it will bid alone on the 700 MHz wireless spectrum

For many mobile professionals and other enthusiasts being without a wireless Internet connections is unfathomable. But for those outside of large cities the thought of a high-speed wireless network is merely a dream because the service simply isn’t available.

When the FCC first announced in August of 2007 an auction for the newly set aside 700 MHz frequency, rumors started to circulate that Google would be one of the bidders for the frequency spectrum. In July of 2007, right before the FCC announced the bidding would be open, Google said if its requirements were met; it would bid the minimum $4.6 billion USD for the spectrum.

In what was perceived by many as a gearing up of sorts to getting its hands on the 700 MHz wireless frequency, Google and 34 phone industry companies launched the Android mobile phone OS. The new Android OS was seen as a direct competitor to Microsoft’s mobile OS dominance with Windows Mobile.

Today Google made the official announcement that it would file its formal application to participate in the 700MHz auction. Google states its application would be filed on December 3, 2007 with the FCC, which is the first step in the auction process. Google also pointed out that its application did not include any partners.

"We believe it's important to put our money where our principles are," said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google. "Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today's wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the Internet."

In his Google blog Chris Sacca, Head of Special Initiatives at Google, wrote, “Here at Google, we see the upcoming 700 megahertz spectrum auction at the Federal Communications Commission as one of the best opportunities consumers will have to enjoy more choices in the world of wireless devices.”

There is more to the 700 MHz frequency than simply the chance to offer mobile communications devices. The frequency is able to transmit over long distances with low power requirements meaning that the spectrum could bring broadband Intent connectivity to rural areas that are often only serviced by dial up web connectivity.

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Telekom Google?
By intogamer on 11/30/2007 7:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
I remember there was an article on DT claiming that Google is building their own infrastructure instead of relying on Level3 and other Tier1 providers. Maybe by owning their own bandwidth , it could also give support to the 700mhz bid.

I would say Google will become a backbone provider. They can provide direct cheaper bandwidth, if they win the 700mhz auction. Probably by then release a new protocol for VOIP and Data that would be efficent and faster.

RE: Telekom Google?
By feelingshorter on 11/30/2007 8:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. With their own phone OS, they really could go and make VOIP phone, especially when they can blanket a city with wireless internet already, mind as well offer VOIP. I think the article should also mention what are google's other competition that can pose a threat to winning the bid against google. But with google's stock at the 700+ dollar level, i can hardly see anyone, including ATT and Verzion from being able to dethrone such a rich company.

RE: Telekom Google?
By intogamer on 11/30/2007 9:34:16 PM , Rating: 3
Google is a great company, very innovative. Efficency is key to develop high quality products. I believe Youtube was/is paying around $12million a yr hosting costs to Limelight. In addition, there are countless server farms all over. By creating a backbone(which has been claimed will reach max capacity), will serve a double benefit.

Verizon is laying out massive fiber installations. I believe that it is possible that Verizon will sell it's 55% stake of VWZ to Vodaphone. With already switching to 4G GSM, VZ is just experimenting on 'open access' to possibly attempt to boost VWZ's value before it is sold off. I'm pretty sure VZ will shift their focus dominate with Fios. Vodaphone would definitely pay a price premium. This would greatly help VZ with it's new and future technologies to abandon the old POTs lines, and pursue a fiber network.

Sprint seems to be working with Comcast on partnership. Anybody seen the commercials? Sprint seems pretty firm on their 4G Wimax technology. They basically shot themselves in the foot because of their CDMA. Broadband speeds were almost everywhere and consistent with EVDO. But not many devices were able to take advantage, as I would say that most were on GSM. I'm sure that something is happening on the works. Watch TV in your car via Wimax? But Sprint(nextel) could possibly touch base back to South America, and fight teh Mexican overlord.

T-Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Deutsch Telekom is at odd stakes here. Spent $2Bill in spectrum recently? And yet, to deploy 3G technologies for long awaited customers. I can see pink mobile as a high quality and low cost provider here. DT is expanding in Europe and very thriving. But they are always on the slow side on playing their cards right.

AT&T is the big badass of the ma-bells. Kinda tricky on what these guys would do. Probably some acquisitions? SBC Rogers in Canada sounds good. The telekoms in Canada sucks big time over there. Start building infrastructure? I guess AT&T will stay badass in North America.

Then we will still have a bunch of international competing carriers. By google building backbone infrastructure, would be subsidized by server farms. To be able to deliver their products faster and cheaper. But Google can also continue to innovate an internet backbone to supply wireless bandwidth.

But the 700mhz bid is very tricky stuff here. I don't see Google taking over all those carriers. They serve to the consumers and would be the evil corporation that would be frowned upon. Google hasn't become an monopoly yet.

A good possibly is that it could be used for commercial purposes. For example, Fedex,UPS,DHL syncs through GPRS connections on their signature scanners. Google would provide specialized 700mhz wireless bandwidth to them. Imagine the innovation that is unlocked, such as GPS Tracking, Communication to Logistics, Traffic updates, etc.

Google is becoming more of a communication provider rather than informational. Connecting consumers-to-consumers and business-to-consumer for the profit.

I'm in for Google to keep making money. So that they can innovate ideas into successful business models. Google's stock will burst to $1,000 sometime. Possibly when they release their variant of eBay.

The new technology era is happening here.

My 0.02?

RE: Telekom Google?
By cochy on 11/30/2007 11:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
The telekoms in Canada sucks big time over there

They sure do.

RE: Telekom Google?
By GeorgeOrwell on 12/1/2007 5:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
Let's start out with few facts:

Verizon != Verizon Wireless.
fiber != wireless (FTTH/FTTP >> wireless data)

Verizon is already ditching the copper. But copper is not holding Verizon back from anything other than removing consumer choice, especially if high-speed copper data makes some inroads.

Fake ATT (FATT) is doing nothing except do what they do best -- give consumers crap service, spend nothing, and milk it as long as they can. FATT has made no investments in any sort of fiber, preferring to offer low speed DSL until the copper atoms in the wires decay into nothingness. FATT is more than happy to keep their own profits high while the national economy suffers from the lack of modern broadband.

Google's core competency is building services that can be datamined. It is not building telecom companies. That is why Google wants to have their fake open source platform running on a lot of cellular phones from many vendors -- lots more to datamine.

Although, given the chance, Google would like to be able to datamine every single packet on the Internet. This is why building "free" Wi-Fi for the SF Bay area was so hot in Google's pants and why Google has a hard on to get into the data services business.

Google's one mission is to dominate the world's information content and control/monitor access to this information. This is the franchise that Google has been tasked to build.

Any move by Google must be analyzed in this context, not the "we are such good people" deception that Google uses to crush opposition to their plans.

RE: Telekom Google?
By intogamer on 12/1/2007 8:22:07 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon owns 45% stake of VWZ. Yes, they are not directly a whole. Moving to 4G GSM would help connect Vodaphone customers. But if Vodaphone wants the rest of the 45% stake(there could be a good chance), then it would provide substantial money.

Yes, Copper will remove consumer choice, leaving another other POTs company out of the picture. Fiber is something VZ has leverage against Cable compared to DSL. They can provide additionally TV. VZ has more to offer now. The money comes in the play can help the roll out here and future technologies.

ATT can milk even more customers in Canada. As they are one of the countries with capped connections.

I can agree that Google wants to data mine everything. But the advertising model won't put out substantially forever.

I'm saying that if Google becomes a Tier provider would be saving costs. The servers and home users are the customers of a 'teleco' which wouldn't be Comcast/Verizon but Tier2 and Tier1 providers. In which will serve to Tier3 telecommunications. "Telekom Google" was just my title.

Google can continue to pursue their "we are good people" by indirectly being an internet provider connecting all their servers to everybody else. If general public doesn't see Google as a VZ or AT&T monopoly then Google is still in the green.

RE: Telekom Google?
By robertgu2k on 12/3/2007 5:32:44 PM , Rating: 3

Verizon owns 55% of Cellco (Verizon Wireless) which is the partnership of Verizon Communications and Vodafone. Thus Vodafone owns 45% of Cellco. The more likely event would be for Verizon Communications to buyout Vodafone rather than the other way around. Since without Verizon Wireless, Verizon Communications is basically useless (VZW makes up the bulk of Verizon Communications growth).

RE: Telekom Google?
By TomZ on 12/1/2007 3:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
Fake ATT (FATT) is doing nothing except do what they do best -- give consumers crap service, spend nothing, and milk it as long as they can. FATT has made no investments in any sort of fiber

Not surprising to hear you talking out of your @ss again. As a funny coincidence, I'm in the process of getting AT&T DSL installed at my home. I was just today talking to the install tech who told me that AT&T is currently installing fiber in the small city where I live. They're going to use it for IPTV services today (google: AT&T U-verse) and future high-speed internet (50Gbps). And I live in a pretty small town. The tech told me they already have 100K customers using the service here in Michigan.

BTW, I generally dislike AT&T as a company, but I am from them getting 2X the speed of DSL at 1/2 the price of any other company, including my old DSL provider of many years.

RE: Telekom Google?
By GeorgeOrwell on 12/2/2007 7:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say FATT has no fiber anywhere. If you look closer, you will see that U-Verse is architected using copper to the home, not fiber. Sure there will be fiber feeders that enable IPTV. But FATT is essentially maintaining current DSL speeds as its standard vs. the better speeds you can get from Verizon.

You may be happy with your FATT deal, but remember FATT can make those deals because the equipment has long been paid for by people who paid a lot more for it. Instead of upgrading your copper to any of the much higher speed DSL technologies, FATT is content to give you a lower price and just milk the profits. All the while the nationwide economy suffers from lack of bandwidth.

Finally, if you want a true picture of just desperate FATT customers are for better bandwidth, head over to and check out the forums. Verizon FIOS absolutely kills FATT and people are screaming for the return of competition vs. the massive lock-in that FATT has managed to achieve by paying off Washington.

RE: Telekom Google?
By TomZ on 12/3/2007 9:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
If AT&T can put 50Gbps of bandwidth into my house using copper, why should I care if the fiber ends at my house or at the end of the street?

Also, for Verizon, they have only a tiny portion of the US covered with FIOS. IIRC they plan to have it available to 1,000,000 households by 2010. That's pathetic. At that rate, it could be another 10 years before it's available here at my home. AT&T is taking a more practical view of bringing fiber to neighborhoods and using existing copper for the last few hundred feet. This will allow them to get high bandwidth to more customers much faster than FIOS.

Don't get me wrong, I'd sure prefer to fiber to my home, especially for the longer-term, but if I have to wait 10 years to get it, then I'd rather someone provide an intermediate step in the meantime, even if that step is not the best longer-term solution (fiber).

All the while the nationwide economy suffers from lack of bandwidth.

I challenge you to explain and support that view. You are developing a real habit of pulling so-called "facts" like that out of your @ss.

RE: Telekom Google?
By jaakobi on 12/24/2007 10:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
No one can put 50 Gbps of bandwidth through your house with copper. Not even 10 Gbit ethernet over copper is out yet.
The maximum speed of Uverse is around 27 Mbps with their current equipment. The thing is, there is a limit to how fast copper can go. Fiber can go much farther distances with much greater bandwidth. Therefore, almost every telecom in the world will be poised to upgrade to all fiber at some point in the future.
Then again, AT&t is upgrading some areas with full fiber, but their crappy business philosophy as usual maintains that they should keep speeds low, because "people don't need it".
By the way, how would Verizon get Fios to your house when you say AT&T is your provider?

what are google's principles?
By GeorgeOrwell on 12/1/2007 5:27:55 AM , Rating: 4
And just what, objectively, has Google done to make anyone's life better?

I cannot see one area where Google has improved the consumer's ability to choose. If anything, Google's monopoly on search and ads is showing that Google likes removing choice, not increasing it. Google's recent acquisition of DoubleClick! is the latest example of Google reducing choice and gaining more power to raise prices for consumers.

I can't see anything that Google offers at a reasonable and fair price. Even the services they offer for "free" they are reaming customers who should be getting paid to get datamined.

Even Google's treatment of open source is nothing more than lip service. For the amount of open source that Google utilizes, Google has an extremely low level of "giving back".

Every opportunity Google gets to ream another company, they do it. Just like Google cloning the Java virtual machine to get around Sun's licensing. This is another example of how Google is nothing more than Microsoft 2.0.

This spectrum offering should be put into the public domain. The government owes the people something after taking $2 trillion from them to spend on the Iraq war. Selling the spectrum to any company -- Google, telecom, Microsoft, etc., is just setting the economy back hundreds of billions of dollars vs. enabling a large diverse set of companies and communities to develop an open high-speed network.

RE: what are google's principles?
By SiliconAddict on 12/1/2007 5:40:46 AM , Rating: 1
Umm you get those services for free through the data mining and advertisements which are a whole hell of a lot less intrusive then other's. I really am sick of people thinking that such services should automatically be free. Clue: this is costing Google money to give you e-mail, Google Earth, Docs, Goog411, Search Engines, etc for free.
They are a fucking company not a charity. You don't like it go create your own company with such morals and see how long you stay in business giving away services for free all the while all the people using said services are chowing down on your bandwidth and nailing your servers hard.
I really want to support the open source crowd but I swear to god most of these folks are out of touch with the real world when it comes to how things work. Yes in a perfect world Google would hand out all these services for free with no strings attached. The spectrum would be used for free. You would pay a marginal fee for a handset using Asteroid (Or do you expect that to be free as well?). But it ain't a perfect world and Google needs to make money like any other company who wants to stay in business.

RE: what are google's principles?
By GeorgeOrwell on 12/1/2007 6:01:37 AM , Rating: 1
You didn't answer the question, certainly not objectively.

As for Google Earth and virtually all the "services" you listed, they are not "free" except in a low-end limited functionality edition.

It must be made very clear that even the "free" things that Google offers are not truly free in that you are trading an unknown, unspecified level of datamining for your ability to use some apps/storage on Google's servers. Note that these servers have already been subsidized by the tax payer as has the bulk of the information that Google collects and then restricts access to. So you are paying taxes to support Google's data collection, datamining, and then claiming that there is some sort of economic imbalance. You are right. The imbalance is that Google is not paying you back.

As for "open source", that is something that is feared by most companies. It is getting back to cooperation vs. competition, to doing things together for the good of all vs. the exploitation of the many by the few. Open source is far more representative of early America than the blind "anything for money" companies that rule America today.

If you are so happy with the status quo, with the world going to hell at an incredible speed, then fight with all your might for Google's right to lie, cheat, and steal to make a profit. Yep, go ahead and fight for their right to steal from taxpayers, datamine taxpayers without any legal process, spy on people without any legal process, etc. You are such a stand up guy, aren't you?

Just remember one thing no matter how much Google's deceptions blind you:

"For the love of money is truly the root of all evil"

RE: what are google's principles?
By TomZ on 12/1/2007 1:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
that these servers have already been subsidized by the tax payer as has the bulk of the information that Google collects and then restricts access to

Please substantiate your claim that taxpayer dollars were used to pay for Google's servers. I find that claim pretty unbelievable. I call BS on that.

"For the love of money is truly the root of all evil"

That's a pretty stupid quote, especially in this context. Sure, money does corrupt some people, but for most people money is just a means to an end. In other words, for most people it is just a way to get a roof over their head, food in their belly, and to pay for the other necessities of life.

Just think about it - people cause the problems in the world, not money. Money is not some unstoppable force that causes people to act involuntarily. People are responsible for their actions, period.

RE: what are google's principles?
By rebturtle on 12/1/2007 2:44:21 PM , Rating: 3
"Sure, money does corrupt some people, but for most people money is just a means to an end."

I'm sorry, but I call BS on that.

From the World Socialist Web Site (search: "global wealth")
"The UN figures indicate that 45.5 percent of the US adult population (or about 92 million people) is in the top 10 percent of the world’s population by wealth. However, to qualify for the top 10 percent requires total assets of only $61,041. For the bulk of American workers who reach this level, the majority of these assets are tied up in their homes and vehicles. A US census report based on 2000 data found that 67 percent of the population reported ownership of a home, and that the median net worth of this house (that is, the value of the house minus mortgages) amounted to $59,000."

Everyone reading this is probably seated comfortably, inside an adequate structure, and has had at least a couple meals since yesterday. They are also on a computer, which is not a necessity of life. Nor is the truck that I drive around in, my camera, my cell phone, etc. People don't stop wanting things once they have the necessities in life though. We get comfortable, and then there's something "better" or "more comfortable."

Sure, I give to charity, but I don't live as cheaply as possible and give everything else to them. I work construction, and my wife runs a small business. We have a truck and an SUV that both get around 15MPG, a 3 bedroom house, and a couple nice computers (and lots of spare parts from previous builds -lol). I suppose we fall in around the middle to upper-middle class in America, but I can still think of hundreds of (moderately expensive) things I'd still like to buy. Yet I can remember when I was younger and had practically nothing but a roof and a full belly and was just as happy.

We are gluttonous, greedy, self-serving creatures by nature. Money is a conduit for goods and power and we will almost always want more than we need. Money may not necessarily be the root of all evil, but it certainly is an expressway to getting there.

In the same way some of us might envy or hate Google for their wealth and power, much of the world (90%!) may envy and hate each of you for yours.

RE: what are google's principles?
By TomZ on 12/1/2007 3:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
We are gluttonous, greedy, self-serving creatures by nature. Money is a conduit for goods and power and we will almost always want more than we need. Money may not necessarily be the root of all evil, but it certainly is an expressway to getting there.

Speak for yourself, dude. I don't see it that way, and I don't think most Americans do either.

But that said - I do think it is good to be self-serving. There's a reason that's programmed into our genetic code - survival. Some people forget about that little detail. A person who doesn't the welfare of themselves and their family first is a fool.

700MHz popularity
By Etern205 on 12/1/2007 12:19:03 PM , Rating: 2
There is something about this 700MHz spectrum that makes it so special, but as of now I don't have the mag to quote it from. So I'll post it once I get my hand on it.

RE: 700MHz popularity
By Etern205 on 12/1/2007 8:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
The beauty of the 700-MHz spectrum, according to Eric Epstein, a consultant at communications infrastructure design company Simtec Global LLC, is that no one in the US has been licensed to broadcast anything but UHF in that spectrum. As a result, there is "no noise, no interference--coast to coast.

Wireless broadband in the 700MHz spectrum already exist; owners of the spectrum could negotiate for space on the current broadcasting towers.

700MHz is far enough away no to have problems with existing services and depending on the FCC sell or license the chunks of the spectrum, providers could offer wifi service with download speed that are 3 to 5 megabits per second faster than wifi.

On the issue of PC Magazine Vol.26 No. 20 October 16,2007 pg.17

RE: 700MHz popularity
By winterspan on 12/1/2007 8:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
Just as important, or even more so, is two basic facts.
1)The ~700mhz region of the radio spectrum has *EXCELLENT* propagation characteristics. It does just fine through nearly all weather conditions and it can penetrate through multiple walls in a home or building without drastically attenuating the signal. Most importantly, because of the excellent propagation, the ~700mhz frequency requires many fewer transmitting stations/towers per square mile compared to other in-use radio frequencies for mobile/fixed communications (2.4ghz, 2100Mhz, 1900mhz, etc) thus making roll-out of service to be much cheaper.

2) The 700mhz spectrum auction is coming about because of the switch from analog to digital television broadcasting. I'm no expert, but these types of spectrum auctions are very rare, and this is probably going to be the only large-scale, country-wide spectrum auction for the at least the next decade.

They should have done partners
By SiliconAddict on 12/1/2007 1:11:53 AM , Rating: 2
seriously. Under no circumstances can the telco industry get their damn hands on this spectrum chunk.

By intogamer on 12/1/2007 8:26:21 AM , Rating: 3
True haha. Monopoly: Telco Edition

By nurbsenvi on 12/1/2007 10:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
I like Google, they have successfully projected a "nice bunch" image to my brain and most important of all: they provide nice services for free.

But, I always wondered whether or not they would give my information away to US government...

not that I care so long as I get free online hard disk storage, free mobile OS and other goodies.

Just a thought...

By NickWV on 12/1/2007 12:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
they have fought numerous attempts from the government in the passed, the one that comes to mind recently is when the government wanted large swaths of data that was not specific to their case.

so I would say no?

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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