Loses out to major networks in US 700MHz spectrum auction.
It was always going to be a stretch…
The results of the major FCC 700MHz auction in the US rolled out late last night and – perhaps unsurprisingly – Google failed to secure any part of it. Instead it was the major telcos, Verizon and AT&T which made the headlines. The former won almost all of the desirable high speed suitable C Block (Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Gulf of Mexico excluded) while the latter took most of the B Block nabbing 12MHz of spectrum over more than 700 ‘cellular market areas’ – a move which is likely to fill most of its coverage black spots.
To give some idea of scale in all this, Verizon paid out a mammoth $9.63bn in total while AT&T wasn’t far behind racking up $6.64bn meaning Google was, ultimately, never going to be at the races despite its good intentions. Instead many are seeing the search giant’s participation mainly as a regulatory yardstick to ensure open access rules were maintained and the full values were bid in the most prized sectors.
Elsewhere Qualcomm was busy snapping up bits of B and the low bandwidth E blocks, though it failed to meet the $1.33bn reserve price for Block D meaning a new auction will be held at a later date for a range which must be utilised in conjunction with public safety groups.
Ultimately then, this didn’t turn out to be the game-changing Google move that we all initially hoped, but it will open up the S airwaves for faster speeds and greater coverage.
Press Release Contains Full Breakdown (PDF Warning)