It was unclear a few months ago if Google was bluffing when it came to their promise to bid on spectrum if certain conditions were met. This particular block of spectrum on auction by the FCC is the holy grail -- it's the stuff every carrier wants. This demand, and Google's deep pockets, created enough leverage to make the FCC agree to some conditions Google put forth.
It turns out that Google wasn't kidding when they said bidding on spectrum wasn't out of the question. Today Google officially announced their intention to bid. From this point forward, bidders are not allowed to say anything more due to anti-collusion rules.
Here is the timeline of events as they will unfold over the next few months:
- December 3: Applicants must file documents to declare their intention to bid.
- December 28: Bidders must make a deposit based on the spectrum applicants are eligible to bid on.
- January 24: Bidders use an anonymous electronic bidding process -- after which their identities will be revealed.
- March something: The auction will officially end when all the spectrum blogs have been sold.
So by the end of March, we should know more about the outcome, and what that actually means for all parties involved. Whoever ends up with spectrum though, as Google puts it, consumers win.