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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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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.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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