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Google could bid for U.K. wireless spectrum

Reports suggest Google may take advantage of Ofcom's proposed liberalisation of 900MHz spectrum in the United Kingdom.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Google may be considering bidding for wireless spectrum in the United Kingdom after regulator Ofcom proposed the liberalization of key frequencies.

A report in The Guardian on Friday claims that the Californian tech giant might be planning to start its own mobile service or establish an open wireless-broadband network--much as it is trying to do in the United States. A possibility of a launch dovetails neatly with rumors about the so-called "Gphone".

Although analysts have scoffed at the idea of Google launching its own wireless handset-- they claim it flies in the face of the company's existing ad-centric business model--Google has submitted a U.S. patent for a mobile-payment system called "Gpay".

Ongoing reports from Taiwan continue to suggest that the Gphone is under development, with HTC marked as a possible manufacturing partner.

The Guardian's report claims that Google is still unsure whether to make it a 3G or Edge device.

Google refused to comment on the speculation.

On Thursday Ofcom announced that it wanted to open up the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies--currently used for GSM connectivity--for other uses. While the immediate implication of this would be to let operators run 3G services over the 2G spectrum, thus allowing better 3G coverage, it also opens up the possibility that rival wireless technologies, such as WiMax, could gain a foothold in the U.K. market.

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