The Federal Communications Commission has lifted its gag order on the winners of the 700 Mhz auction and those telecom giants have been a chatty bunch. And all of them are talking about advanced wireless broadband service.
A brief recap (Techmeme):
AT&T reckons that its strategy to buy B-block spectrum worked out since it had C-Block spectrum from the purchase Aloha Partners. In a statement, AT&T said: "The complementary nature of the spectrum AT&T acquired through the FCC auction and from Aloha Partners gives AT&T the capacity to meet customer needs as the company moves to higher-speed 4G (fourth-generation) services. Upon final award of the auctioned B Block spectrum, AT&T's 700 MHz spectrum will cover 100 percent of the top 200 markets and 87 percent of the U.S. population, enabling the company to better compete in a vibrant and dynamic marketplace."
In the future, AT&T's 700 MHz spectrum holdings will provide the foundation for deployment of next-generation wireless broadband platforms such as HSPA+ and LTE. While standards for emerging technologies such as LTE are still being developed, these technologies could enable peak broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or more.
For now, AT&T plans to deliver 3G services to 350 markets by the end of 2008. Om Malik has more on the AT&T angle. Verizon also talked up its broadband strategy and said the 700 Mhz auction win, which will cost the telecom giant $9.36 billion, will allow the company to "to capture the full potential of its announced plan to deploy a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and Open Development Initiative and the resulting next wave of wireless innovation."
Verizon executives outlined their plans on an investor conference call and issued a statement. The short version: Verizon won't have its new spectrum cleared for use until mid-February 2009 and plans to launch its LTE network in 2010 sometime. News.com's Anne Broache has more on the Verizon call.
Google is happy it didn't have to fork over so much dough. Google's plan is to play the software game with Android, deliver ads and explore some white space spectrum. And if you can force Verizon and AT&T to pay more all the better. In Google's blog, the company said:
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.
That's a comical paragraph. Google saves the U.S. Treasury while getting what it wants on the openness front. Patriotic eh?