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Verizon wins 700MHz national license, more

updated 03:20 pm EDT, Thu March 20, 2008

Verizon 700MHz Wins

Verizon was the winner of the nationwide license for the crucial 700MHz wireless auction as well as most regional licenses, the FCC has revealed. An initial list of winners shows the telecoms giant to have successfully won both the national license as well as 11 out of 12 of the local licenses available for the "C" block that is likely to be used for wireless data. The licenses supply the company with coverage across all of the US and would allow it to launch any future service with few gaps in its network. Only AT&T Mobility has managed to win a major regional "C" block bid for coverage in the Mississippi Valley, according to government documents.

Other airwave blocks were distributed more evenly but included relatively unusual entrants. Companies such as CableVision and Cox were involved in bidding for the less essential but still sought-after "A" and "B" blocks and were joined by more expected entrants such as Frontier Wireless. AT&T and Verizon also claimed a large number of licenses in this space.

The victories establish the groundwork for a future Verizon cellular or Internet network that would use the 700MHz frequency to provide faster and longer-range connections than possible today. Regardless of control, however, the carrier will have to abide by open access rules that require the company to allow any legitimate device and software to run on its network. The rule was instituted in part due to pressure from Google, which pledged at least a $4.6 billion bid to prevent incumbents such as Verizon from insisting on a platform that locked the choices of hardware and software.

Google itself did not win any bids but is believed to have made its own as a symbolic gesture.

The 700MHz frequency is likely to be shared by competing standards for 4G cellular data. Ericsson has developed technology for 700MHz Long Term Evolution, which is most likely to be used by Verizon as well as AT&T. Intel supporters have also proposed 700MHz WiMAX that would shift the wide-area broadband to the new airspace.

No services will launch until at least 2009, when the 700MHz space is dropped by analog over-the-air TV broadcasts.

by MacNN Staff



  1. petsounds

    Joined: Dec 1969


    too bad

    And so the tyranny of the telecoms continue. I suppose google wasn't as serious about winning as we thought, only satisfied to make inroads for its platform.

  1. Haroscarfel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    escape artist

    im moving to norway

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: too bad

    Google had absolutely no interest in acquiring this. They just wanted it to be open. So they bid enough to get it to that spot, then sat back.

    If google had gotten this, it would have really made no sense. They'd be just another company trying to expand into areas they have no clue about and hoping their name would be enough to compete with.

    Another example is Android. Google has no desire to make a phone. But they have every reason to try to push an open OS for phones that they can then use for their own gain.

    And I don't know what you're complaining about. The open access rules apply, so Verizon can't practice the tyranny you so despise.

  1. PBG4 User

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Open access rules may apply, but with only one major vendor having control of a nationwide network means only one price for the nationwide network. No competition usually means higher prices.

    The FCC said the airwave sale garnered about $20Billion dollars. That's a lot of sunk cost to make up.

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