Thursday, March 20, 2008

The end of the FCC 700 MHz auction

This afternoon the Federal Communications Commission announced the results of its 700 MHz spectrum auction. While the Commission's anti-collusion rules prevent us from saying much at this point, one thing is clear: although Google didn't pick up any spectrum licenses, the auction produced a major victory for American consumers.

We congratulate the winners and look forward to a more open wireless world. As a result of the auction,
consumers whose devices use the C-block of spectrum soon will be able to use any wireless device they wish, and download to their devices any applications and content they wish. Consumers soon should begin enjoying new, Internet-like freedom to get the most out of their mobile phones and other wireless devices.

We'll have more to say about the auction in the near future. Stay tuned.


Brian said...

Open Wireless Hahahah what a Croc. Uhm Verizon doesn't even allow certain bluetooth transfers or tethering or anything like that. Verizon is also way way to overated and expensive. They won't do anything with this spectrum for years or decades, because they can't raise text message prices or tehering prices or MMS prices. So nice job Verizon you own everything and you suck and nobody likes you...

Bizo said...

"Although Google didn't pick up any spectrum licenses, the auction produced a major victory for American consumers." Actually I don't think this was a victory at all. Verizon will screw the victorious American consumer out of every last dime. Put your money where your mouth is next time Google.

Kenny said...

Both of you guys don't get it. Verizon has to follow the Open rule for that spectrum. Any device that uses that spectrum will have to be open to whatever device, apps, etc...

Which is why Google helped in a way to make all of this happen. I believe if the bid passed the $4.3 billion mark, which it did, whoever wins has to abide by those rules.

NeoDarkSaver said...

ahhh. this isnt a good thing for consumer, att and verizon will now just let the their winnings sit their, and continue to lock up the free internet.

MobileBuzz said...

(from post @

Rather than being disappointed I'd much rather focus on the promising changes this whole mellodrama has brought about:

1. Various operators, including Verizon, have expressed their acceptance of Android
2. AT&T and Verizon announced a move towards open access
3. This week Verizon hosted its first and historical open development conference
3. Verizon released its first open access device specifications today

Yes. It is easy to be cynical about all this. But keep in mind that just one year ago these events were simply unimaginable.

Casper van Dijk said...

you guys dont get it, google already won before. You guys only look 1 way of the story, the big picture, but not the full details. Before Google already made a deal with the FFC to make 700Mhz OPEN for applications, devices, etc. such thing that google is providing!
So who won, Google ofcourse, Verizon has to make it open and let Google apps make possible for the public.
Get it?

Vishal Sharma said...

Googles move was smart. Google won in both scenarios. Openness is something which everyone wanted from carriers and we got it with spending billions on spectrum. It was a good strategic move by google and wil now pay off big time and will not allow verizon to become another Microsoft :)

Shreenivas said...

Brian is right in saying that Verizon won't do anything with this spectrum for years. However, they will toy around with this "asset" to see how they can obtain "return" in financial/brand-image/goodwill terms. In the interim, we will see verizon peforming antics to recover some of the expenses from it's customers.

So, the loser is a Verizon's customer who does not have a product/service that works in 700Mhz C-Block.

And, the winner is a Tax Paying (non-verizon customer) citizen who can expect better services from FCC as they put this $$$ to use (or, is it too much to expect???). From this stand point, Google has already helped.

Radwan said...

The issue of open access is still very unsettled. At its first conference on open access, Verizon basically let it be known that testing of devices and network compatibility and so on and so forth will costs money. On top of it all, we are still talking CDMA. AT&T version of open access is any phone can get on their network, as long as it's GSM and unlocked. We are still miles away from the European and Asian model, where you buy your phone (unbranded) and call up a provider to sign up. Can use use the same phone across platforms. If Google's phone can transcend the GSM/CDMA discussion, then YES American consumers win, if not we are mucked yet again.

Coop said...

What about Europe ?
Google is much more accepted in Europe then in the states.

Are you guys planning to deploy this in Europe to ?

Ben said...

hey? What about Europe?

The press release was about the winners of the US frequency auction by the FCC. It doesn't touch Europe because the FCC is American.

The big hit for the American consumer is that once Verizon and AT&T start rolling out devices on the 700mhz spectrum, they have to abide by this open access rule which basically means any device can connect to their network and access any application and any data, this is something the US has not seen before with their traditionally very locked down networks, in Europe we have had been able to use devices in this way all the time. You buy a handset and so long as its unlocked and you get a network sim it will work on any network, the US has never had this before.

Europe has nothing to complain about following these announcements, all thats happened is the US has caught up in cross compatibility across devices and networks.

Thats how i understand it anyway!

pabansarma said...

The success of open access auction will lot depend on how the ground rules for open access will be specified by FCC(?). If the definitions of open access is left open to interpretations, you had it. It will take another decade by the time consumers will realize that it did not take them where we wanted. I guess, Google will still have its winning share in any case.

echotech said...

No one said it had anything to do with EU. Read the post. He said that even with these developments we are still nowhere near how it is in Europe.

THE BP said...

Can you guys not read the writing on the wall? With so much volume anti-trust is a lot more stringent. With the way that handsets are currently going if you are really "about" phones you can mostly do what you want anyway. I take it most you are tech people not business people. Typical...

MathiasTCK said...

Open what?

The google policy blog mentions "Openness" for:


It's going to happen gradually, incrementally, until Android handsets start selling, then we'll see a flood.

This year has been a major step forward, but only in posturing. I don't expect we'll soon see free (with a 2 year commitment) phones that are easily able to download winamp, skype, etc. and open up some real competition in mobile.