Google Fails In Bid To Enter Mobile Arena

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.

Ofcom is currently fulfilling the FCC’s equivalent role back here in Blighty (the first results are already in). Come on Google, come over here and spice things up a bit…

Press Release Contains Full Breakdown (PDF Warning)

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