Google committed to buying wireless spectrum

“Google’s wireless ambitions… could include running its own mobile network,” Kevin J. Delaney and Amol Sharma report for The Wall Street Journal. Google “is gearing up to make a serious run at buying wireless spectrum, a chunk of the airwaves that can be used to provide mobile phone and Internet services, in a Federal Communications Commission auction in January. Google is prepared to bid on its own without any partners, say people familiar with the matter. It is working out a plan to finance its bid, which could run $4.6 billion or higher, that would rely on its own cash and possibly some borrowed money.”

“Google, meanwhile, already is running a test version of an advanced wireless network at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, gaining operating experience that could come in handy if it wins the spectrum and decides to run a full-scale national mobile carrier, according to people familiar with the matter,” Delaney and Sharma report. “The behind-the-scenes moves illustrate just how serious the Internet giant is about trying to reshape the wireless world. Its push could potentially expand the availability and decrease the cost of high-speed mobile Internet access to consumers and broaden the wireless applications they can use.”

“Google is focused mainly on bidding on what has been designated as the “C” block, a slice of the 700 megahertz spectrum. It is also considering other blocks of spectrum available as well, though they would provide only regional coverage or come with other limitations. Google has hired game-theory specialists to help plot its auction strategy, say people familiar with the matter,” Delaney and Sharma report.

Much more in the full article here.


  1. Will say it over and over –

    Google and Apple team on this (Apple’s $16B in bank won’t hurt)

    Hock the family jewels, mortage the farm, sell the wife and kids

    But win this auction – the eventual net worth of it will be Trillion$

    And build a network that works, for real

    Then tell the Telco’s to kiss our ass


  2. This is a very big deal. I agree with those saying that Google and/or Apple winning some spectrum is critical for both companies and, BTW, also for Intel with their commitment to WiMax.

    For Apple, it will unblock the bandwidth limitations on downloading massive content, such as High Definition movies. And it spells the end of the telco stranglehold on communications.

  3. Question is who is gonna be the surprise sleeper with a ton of cash to jump in and undercut Google.
    Micro$oft, unfortunately, is one of the few who could be the sleeper(they desperately need an edge of some kind) who has the spare change. I fear this happening, and I also fear an Adobe buyout…does anyone know the real reason why Adobe’s CEO left? I hope it is not a Micro$oft buyout plan. Ugh!

  4. The thing about winning this slice is that Google can do something like GM’s OnStar network, but everywhere and for things beyond automotive.

    GPS, Voice/Data/Internet Communications, Services (OnStar, Sales, etc), and Advertising….

    … all without the need to rely on 2nd or 3rd parties.

  5. Please don’t think I’m trying to spread FUD…

    I do think it would be intriguing to see what Google could do with this spectrum, but there are a lot of other companies, some beneath the radar right now, either eyeing this auction (from verified news sources) or could/should be… Newscorp, Qualcomm, Nextwave, Intersil, and ON semi are a few that could all benefit. For those companies without the cash, there are numerous private equity firms knocking at their door. Though the real contenders are the ones making up the White Spaces Coalition (which includes Google, Microsoft, among others). I expect the competition and bidding to be fierce.

  6. MrScrith said it best; Apple and Google are making POWER moves.

    Apple is talking to China, Singapore, et al about the iPhone as we speak; Google is doing the 700 mhz spectrum thing. Any smart person would get in on this.

    The entire tech landscape/marketplace will look radically different 3-4 years from now. So can our bank accounts!

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