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700Mhz Auction Winners Finally Talking
Verizon & AT&T target LTE; Google: 'we tried'
by Karl Bode 10:15AM Friday Apr 04 2008 Tipped by gaforces See Profile
Now that FCC rules prohibiting participants in the 700Mhz auction from commenting have expired, everybody involved in the auction is naturally very chatty. The two biggest winners, AT&T and Verizon, confirmed plans to use the newly acquired spectrum to begin building out LTE infrastructure. Prototype LTE test systems using 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antennas have achieved download speeds faster than 300Mbps, though obviously early telco deployments won't be remotely close to those speeds (probably closer to 10Mbps or so initially).

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AT&T is saying that they "only" bid $4.74 billion for a majority of the C block spectrum because of their purchase last October of spectrum from Aloha partners. AT&T says they now have enough spectrum to reach 87 percent of the total U.S. population, and 100% of the nation’s largest 200 cities. AT&T's LTE-based service using the spectrum will roll out in 2012.

Verizon is saying that the $9.63 billion they spent at auction will also be going toward deployment of LTE connectivity "sometime in the 2010 time frame". The company says the addition will increase the company's average spectrum depth per market to 82 MHz, from 52 MHz today. Verizon also chatted up their plans this morning via webcast.

Google is saying that the search giant did try to nab some licenses, but their primary effort was to ensure the inclusion of "open access" conditions. While the press seems convinced that these FCC-mandated conditions will result in a utopian telecom universe, people familiar with AT&T/Verizon lobbying & legal prowess know better. Google says one thing they did accomplish was to drive up C-Block bidding:
quote:
Based on the way that the bidding played out, our participation in the auction helped ensure that the C Block met the reserve price. In fact, in ten of the bidding rounds we actually raised our own bid -- even though no one was bidding against us -- to ensure aggressive bidding on the C Block. In turn, that helped increase the revenues raised for the U.S. Treasury, while making sure that the openness conditions would be applied to the ultimate licensee.
But as noted previously, making a telecom giant pay an extra billion is kind of like forcing an Olympic athlete to run an extra few yards. Decades of charging grandmothers ten bucks for a caller ID service that costs pennies to provide does have its benefits. Ultimately, Google's biggest perk from the auction was a slew of free advertising as a moral crusader of telecom justice -- though these efforts didn't do much of anything to change the status quo.

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i want it now

@comcast.net

three years

3 to 4 years and Xohm will never be a reality.... SIGH.

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

Re: three years

Sprint said it was delayed for a quarter, 4 months isn't too bad. Besides they have the EVDO Rev A for now which is faster than the competition ATM.

GlenQuagmire
Giggidy Giggidy Giggidy Goo
Premium
join:2004-02-16
Grand Rapids, MI

$$$$

If I "only" had 4.73 Billion Dollars.
--
Yes, its stuck in a windows this time.

snipper_cr
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Wheaton, IL

Twoway?

I dont know much of this sorta thing so this question is going to sound very very VERY stupid.

First, the 700MHz spectrum is what was originally used by TV broadcasters (well i guess, still are until feb 09). Isnt that an analog spectrum (n00b question 1)
Also, since it was used for TV broadcasts, does it allow for two way communication or broadcast only?

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Twoway?

"Spectrum" knows no protocol. All RF signals transmitted through the air are analog by definition. So are all cable RF signals in coax for that matter. Television was using it for television. Your cell phone probably uses some of what was originally channels 70-83, which was reassigned to AMPS back in the early 80's. 800 MHz trunking systems for two way radio work in that ex-TV band too. That is definitely 2-way.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.

asdfdfdfdfdf

@Level3.net
Those issues are a function of the equipment that we design to utilize the spectrum and the political choices and rules we decide on. We design and use this equipment to transmit humanly comprehensible information by agreeing on encoding rules and making political choices about who can use certain frequencies and how and for what purpose they can use them.
These things are not intrinsic properties of the spectrum itself.

There is nothing about the underlying physical properties of wave propagation that requires that we use this spectrum to build receivers that decode transmitted waves as visual images put onto screens. Nothing about it requires that information only be transmitted one way by a small group of people who create and control the content transmitted. These are all human political choices. We can choose to create different receivers which interpret and decode transmitted waves not as visual images but as data of some other kind.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

2 recommendations

Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

Good lord. Have they finally gone around the bend?

"Based on the way that the bidding played out, our participation in the auction helped ensure that the C Block met the reserve price."

I don't think the C block needed any help. All they did was drive up the price their "competition" paid, just like some sleazebag on eBay.

"In fact, in ten of the bidding rounds we actually raised our own bid -- even though no one was bidding against us -- to ensure aggressive bidding on the C Block."

Again, what the hell is that all about? Sounds more like a sham bidder to me.

"In turn, that helped increase the revenues raised for the U.S. Treasury,"

Now that may be a new record in PR spin.

" while making sure that the openness conditions would be applied to the ultimate licensee."

Sadly, they did nothing of the kind, as Karl has repeatedly pointed out.

That whole statement reeks of PR spin from a company who talked the talk but did not walk the walk.
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Airwolf7
Premium
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Franklin, KY
kudos:1

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

You can mark my words that someday Google will become a more hated company than Microsoft, just give them enough time.

I never drank the Google Kool-Aid, but so many people have and it's going to be fun watching all of these people getting their little hearts broke when Google does something EVIL.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

said by Airwolf7:

You can mark my words that someday Google will become a more hated company than Microsoft, just give them enough time.
They already are in some circles.
said by Airwolf7:

it's going to be fun watching all of these people getting their little hearts broke when Google does something EVIL.
Not necessarily evil, but look around here at all of the Google zealots that were certain that Google was going to win the spectrum auction and deploy free/affordable Internet service from coast to coast.

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

I hate spoilers in auctions.
Google went out there JUST to be a sh!t disturber, and raise the price on spectrum. Not like everything isn't expensive enough.
--
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FFH5
Premium
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Tavistock NJ
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1 recommendation

said by RadioDoc:

That whole statement reeks of PR spin from a company who talked the talk but did not walk the walk.
In the poker game that was the FCC auction, Google played the part of a fourflusher and a tinhorn. That they are patting themselves on the back about this is really pathetic.
--
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Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA
said by RadioDoc:

"Based on the way that the bidding played out, our participation in the auction helped ensure that the C Block met the reserve price."

I don't think the C block needed any help. All they did was drive up the price their "competition" paid, just like some sleazebag on eBay.

"In fact, in ten of the bidding rounds we actually raised our own bid -- even though no one was bidding against us -- to ensure aggressive bidding on the C Block."

Again, what the hell is that all about? Sounds more like a sham bidder to me.
All they did was assure the C block met the reserve price. Someone had to bid at least that much to assure a winning bid. Both the A and B blocks are well above their reserves while the C block is just barely above.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
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1 recommendation

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

All they did was use this as an opportunity for a lot of free publicity. Their participation was unnecessary and they had no intention of winning anything, just like an eBay bidder who knows the competition will outbid them running up the price for fun or revenge.

If they wanted to assure open systems they should have bid to win. Their PR posturing is sickening.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

That's true it was really just a publicity stunt for Google but assuming Verizon Wireless and the other winners really wanted the C Block it didn't change their bidding.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
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Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

Correct, which is why I call Google a sham bidder in it for the publicity. Releasing statements now which make them sound like they have some benevolent motive is even sleazier, since they appear to be aimed at silencing the criticism.

Especially that part about doing it to increase the money into the Treasury. What a pot of marketing diarrhea.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

1 edit

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

If Google wants to put an extra 1.3 billion in the U. S. Treasury the Feds won't turn it down, D block is still available. Their shareholders probably wouldn't like such a publicity stunt.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

The publicity stunt was propping themselves up as some kind of wireless public guardian when in reality they are cheap publicity-seeking hucksters.

They are in the advertising business. Never forget that.
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Toolmaster of La Grange.
Alphy

join:2001-12-31
Troy, MI

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

Chill out.

Where was any other company in this fight?

Where was Microsoft? Where was Apple? Both of which are sitting on mountains of cash.

Look, just because Google saw an opportunity to do a PR spin on this (which I agree with you, is all talk) doesn't make them the villain. They moved on some good publicity, with no intention of buying spectrum.

RadioDoc
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Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

Fucking apologists are everywhere.
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Toolmaster of La Grange.
Alphy

join:2001-12-31
Troy, MI

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

Let's not get Ad hominem or anything.

Tell me, what other outcome did you expect in this situation?

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

Just stating facts.

Who expected any other outcome? That's the point. Google ran in, talked a good game like any PR huckster would, collected their ill-gotten fluffy press coverage and then disappeared. Had they truly been committed to open access they would have bid to win.

Instead they issue press releases slapping themselves on the back for a non-job well done. They are very good at advertising their own brand.
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Alphy

join:2001-12-31
Troy, MI

1 edit

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

I don't think a huckster would be developing an open operating system that would tie in multiple services which are currently crippled by the wireless providers (GPS comes to mind).

Yes, they are an advertising company and will use this to money. Welcome to America

My point is that Google has added SIGNIFICANT value to my online experience, to my knowledge, has cost me nothing. I can live with the fact they tried to put a PR spin on this auction. Big deal. They really didn't have enough cash to win; Verizon would have opened a 10-15 billion line of credit if they had to. Their existence depended on them winning this.

Google still holds my faith and trust, much more than Microsoft or Yahoo. This remains unchanged.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

They are an advertising company first and foremost.

That you don't find it inconsistent with good public stewardship (which is the cloak they drape upon themselves) that they bid in an auction they had no intention of winning just to get PR pretty much ends this discussion. Microsoft or Yahoo are not relevant because, surprise!, they didn't bid nor did they make a bunch of noise going into the auction trying to drum up support for a cause they had no intent of advancing.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
Alphy

join:2001-12-31
Troy, MI

1 edit

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

How long have you had a grudge against Google?

And also, what do you make of their mobile operating system they're working on?

Again, Google has/is offering me services that everyone else is too tepid to; for fear of stepping on the toes of wireless providers. Sure, at&t can bundle in whatever crap software they want to put in Android in order to get it on the network, but I'll never use it.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

How long have you been a blind supporter?

I have no grudge against them or any other company until they pull a slimy stunt like this.
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Toolmaster of La Grange.
Alphy

join:2001-12-31
Troy, MI

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

Since they offered Gmail, Picasa, Google Maps, Google Reader, Google Groups...Hm, give me 5min, I can think of a few more.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

Enjoy the Kool Aid.
Alphy

join:2001-12-31
Troy, MI

Re: Someone at Google needs to put down the pipe.

enjoy being bitter

asdfdfdfdfdf

@Level3.net

...

I'm disappointed that google is admitting, by their bidding behavior, that they never wanted this spectrum. I was hoping maybe there was an agenda to actually put serious money into getting an alternative network built out. I always felt this was just wishful thinking on my part but we all need to hope.

I don't think Karl, or most of the people here, would have preferred to have the incumbents pick up this sprectrum at lower cost with no rules imposed. I agree with Karl that the rules will inevitably be played around with but what was the alternative in the present political climate?

We aren't sure yet what the result of the rules will be. I think most of us would agree however that having the rules, however imperfect, is probably better than having no rules. If google did drive up the price of the spectrum it also probably reduced the inclination to buy and sit on the spectrum. The more costly it becomes the more incentive the buyer has to make sure that they actually intend to use it to generate revenue and not simply to keep someone else from using it.

I think it is likely that it turned out better than it would have if google hadn't participated.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

Arrrrrggggghhhh

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Caller ID

quote:
Decades of charging grandmothers ten bucks for a caller ID service that costs pennies to provide does have its benefits.
Nothing like $10 caller ID on a $6 phone line.