700 MHz Scenarios

October 10, 2007


DailyWireless has an interesting article on the various 700 MHz scenarios that might play out when FCC auctions out this spectrum early next year.

A good primer on the 700 MHz spectrum is available at GigaOM.

Google (GOOG) and the telecom companies – mainly Verizon (VZ) – have been publicly fighting over the auction of the spectrum. Although I think Google’s open-access proposals are laudable and a step in the right direction for our air waves, I have never understood the economics of how a tech company can single handedly go after the air waves. As Gabriel Brown rightly points out in the article, an alliance might be the best option for the tech companies.

There’s no doubt that the likes of Intel, Google, and Apple have deep pockets, but would they plow money into a heavily loss-making venture over at least five years in the hope of selling more chipsets, advertising, and phones? Probably not.

Perhaps the best chance for these “disruptors” would be through some kind of high-tech consortium making a play on the networking-sharing concept, where capacity is sold at a wholesale rate to individual service providers. This could involve partnering with someone like, say, Frontline Wireless, to make a bid on combining the C Block with the nationwide D Block and public safety band.

The other big question with the 700 MHz spectrum is how it will be eventually used? Will it be WiMAX or LTE. More on this later.


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