November 30, 2007 |
We all knew the memo would come.
It’s the last day of November, and Google’s decided it fitting to top its monthly quota of announcements off with an official notice of intent to “apply to bid for wireless spectrum” in the new year.
The collective reaction from the public? Finally.
Yes, the message has been delivered not a moment too soon. And, looking at the FCC’s auction rules, just shy of the deadline. The commission has declared December 3rd, 2007 the cutoff for potential bidders to declare their commitment to make a bid for the 700MHz block.
The portion of the spectrum that Google has kept a hungry eye on is dubbed the “C” block, which consists of a 22MHz slice that, if eventually won by the Mountain view-based company, will grant its new owner the capability to erect a rather powerful wireless network with an investment relatively small compared to those made thus far by the main set of cellular phone carriers in the US. A national investment that, at present, appears quite feasible considering Google’s current market valuation and the size of its financial reserve.
Indeed, existing members of the wireless market in America see Google’s strong interest in ensuring that the 700MHz spectrum block is put to “good use”, as it were, as something they must now seriously consider when analyzing their strategies for the future. So far, Verizon Wireless, a company for a long while understood to be an all-powerful controller of its hardware, software, and services segments alike, has very recently – and very publicly – displayed a supposed change of heart, claiming a newfound willingness to abandon its seemingly dictatorial hold on all facets of its wireless communications operation in order to appear more open to consumer demands. Other network owners in the US will likely take similar action to ensure their own long-term interests as well, though perhaps less drastically so, as several already allow mostly open access to devices that they sell and do not install restrictive proprietary software on said handsets, as Verizon does its own offerings.
Now, of course it must be said that, though Google plans to soon shout from the proverbial rooftop its desire to place a bid on the 700MHz “C” block, one shouldn’t expect the company to divulge its magic number prior to judgment day (Jan 24, 2008). Surely the heads of state, Sergey and Larry, will spend at least a few poignant moments in one board room or another contemplating an appropriate figure to present to the FCC, but save for any potential leaks, the company will presumably remain mum on the matter ‘til the final hour arrives.
One thing is for sure. These next couple of months are going to be so thick with speculation, you’ll be able to cut the anticipation with a knife.
What do you foresee as the outcome of January’s auction? Will Google claim the prize? Will another party? Post your comments below.