03.27.08

700 MHz results

Posted in 700 MHz at 6:18 pm by JamesNeel

Here’s a link wrapup…

 

The final results are here.

 

Of greatest relevance to the cognitive radio community, the D-block auction did indeed fail and will not immediately be reoffered. That decision is here. Comments by Commissioner Adelstein is here. (His “It is nothing short of a tragedy that the D block failed to sell,” is just a wee bit over the top.)

 

Verizon reportedly did quite well in terms of value as measured in in MHz “pops” (MHz x covered population):

It purchased a total of 8.5 billion MHz pops for $9.36 billion. That comes out to an average $1.10 a MHz pop. That average is made up of the nationwide C block, which was relatively inexpensive, as there was little competition, and some very competitive local licenses.

In comparison, AT&T got “2.1 billion MHz pops for $6.64 billion. That represents $3.15 a MHz pop.”

 

Google thinks itself the big winner.

Here’s why: Google, as we learned on Thursday, did manage to lock in the open access rules by throwing up the minimum $4.6 billion bid early in the game — a move that basically forced Verizon Wireless to pony up even more money for the national spectrum licenses and accept a set of rules that it had previously sued the FCC over. Not bad, when you consider Google didn’t pay a cent to do it (well, other than lobbying fees).

Others (including Google’s Public Policy Blog commentors) aren’t rating is as much of a win for Google because they doubt that Verizon will follow the spirit of the law. A different angle on why it might not be such a win for Google is presented in this article which analogizes the chances for Android (and other open platforms) to AOL’s failed attempt to become a high-speed service provider (basically the margins are too low and the service carrier has subsidized phones). On that last point, I think the iPhone success (and the subsequent hacking) should serve as some evidence that there is a market for unsubsidized phones.

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