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Google a "Happy Loser" In Spectrum Auction 162

Posted by kdawson
from the status-quo-pretty-much-ante dept.
Large cell service providers won almost all of the licenses in the recently concluded FCC spectrum auction. Google didn't get any and won't be entering the wireless business. Verizon Wireless was the big winner, laying out $9.4 billion for enough regional licenses in the "C" block to stitch together nationwide coverage, except for Alaska. On this spectrum Verizon will have to allow subscribers to use any compatible wireless device and run any software application they want. AT&T paid $6.6 billion, Qualcomm picked up a few licenses, and Paul Allen's Vulcan Spectrum LLC won a pair of licenses in the "A" block. One analyst called Google a "happy loser" because it got the openness it had pushed for. The AP's coverage does some more of the numbers.
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Google a "Happy Loser" In Spectrum Auction

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  • Android (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @05:54PM (#22812438) Journal
    Now verizon can't make you use a shitty phone. Now Verizon can't lock you into their ringtones only. Now Verizon can't stop you from using generic Android-sporting phones.
    • Re:Android (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2008 @05:58PM (#22812470)
      yes they can.

      "Oh sorry, internet acccess requires our patented "poopboost" technology. and we are not ready to license it yet. it's only available on verizon licensed phones."

      You bet your arse they will do everything they can to lock you into their crap-phones with everything disabled. They will find a loophole, they hate the customer that much
      .
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by mweather (1089505)
        If they were dumb enough to do that, then they would be forced to license the patent, or loose the spectrum.
        • Re:Android (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2008 @07:33PM (#22813488)
          > If they were dumb enough to do that, then they would be forced to license the patent, or loose the spectrum.

          Or in some strange parallel universe, they might just go right on doing business without any consequences to them whatsoever. Thank god we don't live there and companies are actually held accountable, eh?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Oh, they'll be held accountable. You can bet that if they start playing games with this spectrum and open access that Google will be the first to jump on the lawsuit bandwagon... and Google DOES have the pockets to see a lawsuit through.
      • Re:Android (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CodeBuster (516420) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:43PM (#22812924)

        They will find a loophole, they hate the customer that much
        It is interesting to see how people take the actions of particular corporations personally as if they were "out to get the little guy" for no other reason than simple spite. The spectrum auctions provide a limited monopoly for their winning bidders. The rational (i.e. profit maximizing) behavior for a monopoly firm in any market is to price discriminate or in other words they charge each customer the maximum amount that he or she is willing to pay for a particular amount of goods or services (or as close to that amount as their metered pricing schemes and various contracts can get). Now, this time there are conditions attached to the winning bid that will supposedly prevent some of the previous worst practices from being repeated, but corporations are famous for circumventing, capturing, and generally corrupting attempts by the government to regulate them so I don't have much confidence in these "strings" attached by the government. However, the actions of a particular corporation, should not be viewed in a good or evil way, but rather from the standpoint of a completely amoral and dispassionate entity who seeks to maximize his profits.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by marnues (906739)
          So you're saying I should not feel bad about rounding up Verizon executives and burning them?
          • feel however you want, but hate implies an active dislike which cannot be the case with corporations (they are just legal entities). The people in charge of them might not like you, but they are other people, not "the corporation".
            • Corporate Culture (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @07:23PM (#22813374)

              feel however you want, but hate implies an active dislike which cannot be the case with corporations (they are just legal entities). The people in charge of them might not like you, but they are other people, not "the corporation".

              While I understand your point and agree with to a certain point, my experience has been that corporations or their divisions or other business entities develop a corporate culture that is more than the sum of its parts. Individually, the people in it can be quite nice away from the office, but when they are in the workplace, they become part of the entity. A couple I have seen (and thank all gods never worked for) were run like Nazi concentration camps. They hated everybody, and the places were run on total fear. More commonly, you do see businesses that have a culture of looking at their customers as victims to be abused. You can go to work in such a place as the nicest guy in the world, but if you stay long enough, the hive mind will take you over, and you'll start abusing grandmothers. Fortunately, most of us will quit such a place before we're too badly damaged.

              • You make it sound like this is inevitable that we will be assimilated into their collective(s) and have our names changed to "x of y" or perhaps even "Locutus" in the process.
              • by amplt1337 (707922)
                A couple I have seen... were run like Nazi concentration camps. ...They took trainloads of people, stripped them of everything valuable, and herded half of them into gas chambers, and had the other half shove them in ovens?

                Man, Corporate America is worse than even I thought. :This message sponsored by PATHIN:
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              It's pretty clear that Verizon, as evidenced by past action, is as close to an "evil" corporation as you can get in their segment. I'm sorry but I think your view of their actions (past actions) as simply efforts to maximizing profits as simply "amoral" is naive. Let's look at a classic example. Text messaging. How much bandwidth do you think it takes to send a 256 character text message? Yeah, not much. Know any teens? High school students with cell phones? What is their favorite past time? Yeah,
              • sounds like an excellent opportunity for the children in question to a learn a valuable lesson about the real world before the stakes in the game of life get much higher: always read the fine print and don't sign if you don't understand what you are signing. The cell phone contract almost certainly spelled out the fees if the had bothered to RTFC, but they didn't and learned an expensive lesson instead.
          • by nametaken (610866)
            So you're saying I should not feel bad about rounding up Verizon executives and burning them?

            Only if it's for profit.

            I'll pay to watch.

        • Re:Android (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hunterx11 (778171) <hunterx11&gmail,com> on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:54PM (#22813068) Homepage Journal
          The point is that customers should be patrons of businesses, not enemies. We are not merely talking about companies charging higher prices for more services: we are talking about companies going out of their way to expend a positive amount of effort to make their service worse for customers so that they can charge a higher price for doing less to make their service purposely bad. This sort of market-driven antagonism is "amoral" on the part of firms in the sense that a sociopathic killer is amoral compared to a killer who commits a crime of passion.
          • The point is that customers should be patrons of businesses, not enemies.

            Hear! Hear! It is all about the mindset of the business. Here is what "good" and "evil" business ask themselves:

            Good: How can we provide our customers with the best possible service, and at the same time make a buck?

            Evil: How can we change our service to make customers pay us more money?

            Of course, business is about making money, the difference is just that the "good" business believe that the long term key to making money is customer satisfaction, while the "evil" business is more concerned about short te

        • Re:Android (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Locklin (1074657) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:55PM (#22813092) Homepage
          I don't know about you, but I would define "completely amoral and dispassionate entity who seeks to maximize his profits" as evil -or a sociopath.

          Also, if it weren't for a company trying to "circumvent" monopoly regulations, there would never have been a "Berkley Standard Distribution." So I suppose sometimes good can come from their "evil" ways.
          • I don't know about you, but I would define "completely amoral and dispassionate entity who seeks to maximize his profits" as evil...

            Then you should count yourself very fortunate, for you have lived a life sheltered from actual evil. I'm sure the victims of genocidal warlords would be quite happy to live under Verizon's reign instead.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by pthisis (27352)

          However, the actions of a particular corporation, should not be viewed in a good or evil way, but rather from the standpoint of a completely amoral and dispassionate entity who seeks to maximize his profits.

          You assert this but give no reason for it. And to a lot of people (I'd venture to say _most_ people), seeking to maximize profits without considering the other repercussions of your actions can easily be evil (depending on the actions it leads you to take).

          The rational (i.e. profit maximizing) behavior for a monopoly firm in any market is to price discriminate or in other words they charge each customer the maximum amount that he or she is willing to pay for a particular amount of goods or services (or as close to that amount as their metered pricing schemes and various contracts can get).

          Most people believe that to be bad, hence the heavier legal regulation of firms that have monopolies.

          • The problem with evil is that it is ultimately subjective, even though there are actions which the vast majority of people living on this planet would consider to be evil. In fact, Plato argued that which we call evil is merely ignorance and that good is that which everyone desires. In the case of the corporation "amoral profit maximizer" results in a more accurate and complete analysis of why certain actions are taken whereas "evil" can be used to muddy the waters and arrive at false conclusions depending
            • by pthisis (27352)

              The problem with evil is that it is ultimately subjective, even though there are actions which the vast majority of people living on this planet would consider to be evil.

              That's hardly a problem unique to evil. It's true of almost any public policy decision made. It is precisely because people vary in their thoughts that we have invested so much effort in coming up with representative governments.

              In the case of the corporation "amoral profit maximizer" results in a more accurate and complete analysis of why certain actions are taken

              It also fails to characterize anything but why they were taken, so it's horribly incomplete for describing the actions themselves--let alone making public policy decisions.

              And at any rate, you need to do the value judgement just to do that "amoral profit maximizer" analysis in t

        • by jank1887 (815982)
          "Now, this time there are conditions attached to the winning bid that will supposedly prevent some of the previous worst practices from being repeated, but corporations are famous for circumventing, capturing, and generally corrupting attempts by the government to regulate them"

          this time their method will be very straightforward. Simple, even: "Oh, you want to run anything on our network? Well that obviously will cost us more, or at least trim our relative per customer profit margin. As such, to main

    • Re:Android (Score:5, Interesting)

      by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:07PM (#22812562)
      Sure... I will bet you money Verizon will find a way to make the requirement to "allow subscribers to use any compatible wireless device and run any software application they want" not a feasible option. Something like "With our stuff you get data discounted to 2 cents a byte. With yours it is the full price 2000 cents a byte..." Betcha money...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gustaffo (598224)
        Fortunately there is always the option to vote with your wallet and not use verizon service. There are two national GSM carriers and tons of regionals. You almost always have the option of picking a carrier who uses a truly open network (GSM). For information on GSM carriers see GSM World [gsmworld.com]. I have long been using unbranded/locked devices on ATT's network and the experience is far and above that you could get with any of the crappy proprietary devices. And when I travel abroad, I can easily grab a prepa
        • Re:Android (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Mr2001 (90979) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @07:16PM (#22813306) Homepage Journal

          You almost always have the option of picking a carrier who uses a truly open network (GSM).
          It might be truly open, but it sucks for data. I'll take EVDO over EDGE any day.

          I think it's pretty slimy that verizon does things like disable USB on devices in order to force users to transfer their pictures over their pay-per-transfer type service.
          I don't think they've done that for quite some time now. They do disable some Bluetooth features, but with a USB data cable (available from Verizon or eBay), you can use free software like BitPim to transfer pictures, ringtones, and contact lists. Or, since most of the new phones have microSD slots, you can just save your pictures directly onto a memory card.
          • I have a Motorola V325, which takes a USB data cable. I'm able to sync contacts and calendar with my Mac, but only by fooling the Apple sync service into thinking it's a different Motorola phone. There is absolutely no way to get pics off the phone over USB with cracking the firmware with a hex editor. This is something the phone can do, but Verizon has purposefully blocked with software. If I want pics taken with the phone I have to send them to myself one at a time, paying for each transfer. Instead I jus
        • I'm not going to argue that Verizon doesn't suck in many ways (because they do) but imho, they do have the best data network which is the most important for me. I use EVDO on laptop and phone all the time. Anyway, my question was, does Verizon still do all those dirty things you mention? My phone--a LG chocolate variant--has full bluetooth, I can use it as a modem via bluetooth, and I've transferred ring tones+pictures to and from the phone. Couldn't ask for much more.
    • Phone company idiocy (Score:3, Interesting)

      by whoever57 (658626)
      At the risk of being OT.....

      I got a new Nokia/T-Mobile phone recently. According to Nokia's documentation, the phone has an email client. I have been through the menus (including the ones in the manual that reference email) and there is no email client in the phone, so I assume that T-Mobile has disabled this feature.

      Now, since there is no e-mail client, why would I want to have Internet access on the phone? I probably would have signed up for Internet access, but since T-Mobile doesn't want me to use email
      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        Nearly all nokia phones can be flashed with the generic Nokia firmware which enables all the features.

        The worst you'll have to do is change the product ID. Nokia even fix phones thus modified under guarantee (as they are running official Nokia firmware) as long as you didn't break it by fucking up the upgrade.

        Of course you'll lose the T Mobile branding.. but you didn't want that did you?
        • by whoever57 (658626)

          Nearly all nokia phones can be flashed with the generic Nokia firmware which enables all the features.
          I updated the phone's firmware using Nokia's updater software, but it retained all the branding and limitations. Is there some other way to update the firmware?
          • by Albanach (527650) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @07:13PM (#22813268) Homepage
            That may have been the worst thing you could do.

            You needed to change the product code first, so the software update gets the unbranded version. You could find that you now have the most up to date firmware and you'll need to wait for the next Nokia release.

            However, you may find third parties who are able to flash the phone to the generic firmware. You'll need to pay a fee though.
            • by whoever57 (658626)

              You needed to change the product code first,
              How do I do that? It's a Nokia 6086.

              You could find that you now have the most up to date firmware and you'll need to wait for the next Nokia release.
              Fortunately, there is a new release available.
        • by speculatrix (678524) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @07:05PM (#22813204)
          just google for "nemesis service suite" - it's a windows app that will change all sorts of things about your phone including the product ID, which then means the Nokia Software Updater will allow you to install generic s/w which is usually the latest version. I have de-branded quite a few N95s and my own E65, and they're so much better for it. Note that this can also brick your phone, so be sure to check the product code BEFORE is compatible with the intended code AFTER.
    • by el_benito (586634) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:23PM (#22812740) Homepage
      I'll pass on using mod points because I don't see anyone else asking this yet: Is there anything in the requirements that says that Verizon cannot charge for people to use any compatible device? Can we run our applications without them charging us money? Do they have the right to 'shape' bandwidth once somebody figures out how to torrent stuff over this network? Can I IM without them exacting an exorbitant fee per message? In short: Are we gonna get screwed through a loophole? /rhetorical
      • by megaditto (982598) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @07:14PM (#22813292)
        Short answer is YES, you are gonna get screwed.

        Recall that the original auction specs had a mandate to re-sell bandwidth in bulk (costs + reasonable fees), but Verizon lobbied hard to get it dropped for some reason. My random guess is that they wanted to have monopoly and set their own prices (translation: you are screwed).

        Also, Verizon is making a killing selling those $100/month "unlimited" plans and $2 ringtones. Therefore, there is no way in hell they would undercut that by allowing something like a reasonably priced VoIP over their network.

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          Also, Verizon is making a killing selling those $100/month "unlimited" plans

          Are they? Really?
          Do you have any numbers to back that statement up?

          Last time Verizon (IIRC) tried to do "unlimited" was back in the 90's and they pulled the plan after a few months because it was costing them waaay to much money.

          The only reason Verizon is offering unlimited anything is because Sprint took that rather desperate plunge to pull in new customers and everyone else felt compelled to follow suit.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by afidel (530433)
            If they can't find a way to make a profit at $100 per subscriber their entire executive board needs to be fired and replaced by competent people. They should have significantly lower cost per subscriber than wireline service providers due to reduced infrastructure costs and the wireline providers exist on much lower revenue numbers.
      • by darthflo (1095225) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @07:17PM (#22813314)
        Of course not. I haven't read the full thing, but as far as I know, it's going to be run GSM style. If you want to use the network, you'll have to get it's equivalent of GSM's SIM card (and the contract that comes with it), usable in any device that supports this network.
        Nothing new here, the rest of the world has been doing this for over a decade and a half.
        • We already have that option in the US, it's just that they subsidize the cost of locked phones with a contract. An unlocked phone effectively raises your fees by the price of a new phone every two years.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by greensoap (566467)
        "In that regard, we emphasize that C Block licensees may not impose any additional discriminatory charges (one-time or recurring) or conditions on customers who seek to use devices or applications outside of those provided by the licensee.
        " FCC Open Access Requirements Paragraph 222 in FCC 07-132

        No charges for using the device by the consumer. Of course, you are still charged service fees and if the contract is 10cents/kilobyte transfered there is nothing to stop Verizon from doing that so long as they cha
    • by Mr2001 (90979)
      Right... they can just make you pay $1.99 per megabyte for data connections, like they're doing to everyone who signs up with their new "nationwide" plans.
  • Who won Alaska (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @05:58PM (#22812472)
    Great, they announced that Verizon took everything but Alaska. So, who won Alaska? I ask because I read the messages and couldn't tell who won it, and I live here. Is there a link to the actual results, rather than an analysis that says everything but Alaska but doesn't specify who took the elusive 49th state?
    • by _PimpDaddy7_ (415866) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:19PM (#22812696)
      The Russians

      LOL
    • Re:Who won Alaska (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nibbler999 (1101055) <tom_atkinson@f[ ].org ['sfe' in gap]> on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:23PM (#22812736) Homepage
      "Triad 700, LLC" - whoever they are. The full results are on the FCC auction site.

      https://auctionsignon.fcc.gov/signon/index.htm [fcc.gov]

      Login to Auction 73 and click 'results'.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AK Marc (707885)
        "Triad 700, LLC" - whoever they are.

        Looks like a newly created VC company made for the express purpose of bidding on this. That sucks for us. The last useless company that won lots of spectrum in Alaska never paid for it, never used it, and it was tied up in court for years because the FCC tried to repo it like a car that wasn't paid for, and the bankrupcy courts said they couldn't take it back. By the time it was done with, the spectrum had dropped in price (they speculated when the bidding was high a
  • by ActionDesignStudios (877390) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:01PM (#22812500)
    Except Alaska. Except Alaska. Everything is except Alaska! I say we secede and form our own country of Alaskanistan!
  • From the AP article:

    The spectrum, which encompasses about a third of the spectrum at auction, is subject to "open access" provisions...meaning users of the network will be able to use whatever phones or software they wish.

    From the summary:

    On this spectrum Verizon will have to allow subscribers to use any compatible wireless device

    So what is it? Anything, or just some phones Verizon deem 'compatible'? I hope it's really anything because I have an old Motorola DynaTAC 8000X I've been itching to dust off.

    • by Bryansix (761547)
      I'm guessing that phone doesn't have the ability to broadcast in this spectrum.
    • by Microlith (54737)
      I'd imagine it's anything that can speak the protocol and pick up on the band.

      I have an old Motorola DynaTAC 8000X I've been itching to dust off.

      That's being disingenuous. Proceed with a grain of salt, but I think Google may have landed something far more valuable than the spectrum itself.
  • Conspiracy Theory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ink (4325) * on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:07PM (#22812560) Homepage
    Of course, Verizon could very well just sit on this spectrum and do nothing with it. Why would they want the competition? They'd have to do all that engineering to come up with a protocol that's bound to be tangled with lawsuits relating to the new regulations.

    And, after all, you've already signed a two-year contract for "unlimited" talk at $100/month. Why would they want to upset that gravy train? It's not like any of the other carriers can use it...

  • by vox69 (1225802)
    Google anyone? Don't get me wrong, I love talking about Verizon, and Alaska ;)
  • by Fatal67 (244371) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:14PM (#22812648)
    Why does everyone assume verizon will use the spectrum for wireless when they have just as much need to deliver Video as they do wireless?

    They could run a completely wireless 'cable' network over this spectrum and the only compatible device would be a set top box with a wireless interface that was compatible with their head end equipment. Was there something in the auction that requires the spectrum to be used for Cell phones or Internet access? I missed it if there was. Anyone know?

    • by ecliptik (160746) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:29PM (#22812786) Homepage
      I recently had a phone interview with Qualcomm for a position in their MediaFlow division. Apparently they are planning to use recently freed UHF frequencies to digitally broadcast "cable" TV directly to cell phones . I wouldn't be surprised if they continued to expand this type of service with the additional licenses they picked up in the auction.
    • by Mr2001 (90979)
      Verizon already has a separate wireless video network using Qualcomm's MediaFLO in the 716-722 MHz range. It's been deployed for several months in some parts of the US; there's a map buried in the Flash crap here [vzw.com].
  • Google isn't a loser, because to lose you have to play the game. Google never wanted to win the spectrum, their game was the open access rules, which they got.
  • Google DID win (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:23PM (#22812738)
    Google got exactly what they wanted here, a nationwide network that is forced to be available for thier android platform. They never really wanted the spectrum, if necissary they might have done it anyway but this would have been the prefered result.
    • by Fatal67 (244371)
      They didnt get that at all. Nowhere does it say that Verizon has to compatible with android. Of course, android could be made compatible with whatever Verizon uses, but there is nothing saying Verizon even has to offer internet service on this spectrum, which would render most cool apps worthless anyway.
  • Don't feel bad Google. Australia has plenty of inexpensive spectrum, and millions of anxious customers. Having heard about the rise and advantages of technology in other parts of the world, we've now got our head around this new electricity stuff, and we're just waiting for someone to show us how to use it all. Come on down!
  • by Dopeskills (636230) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:34PM (#22812828)
    Everyone is talking about the open access rules regarding Verizon's spectrum, but it is interesting to point out that AT&T does not have to deal with any restrictions on its 700mhz spectrum. AT&T's 700mhz coverage includes the spectrum acquired from Aloha Partners combined with the B block from the auction (totals 95% of the USA). This means that AT&T can still deploy a completely locked down network if they choose.
    • by ivan256 (17499)
      So what? If the open access is attractive to customers, AT&T will be forced to open the B block by the market instead of the FCC.

      I don't think we have to worry about that happening though, 'cause Verizon will simply price their open-access service out of the market. Then when nobody buys it they can tell the FCC how terrible an idea it was.
    • by adolf (21054)
      Not in my back yard!

      I live in one of only several counties in Ohio for which Aloha was successfully bid against, several years ago, and where the license is still held by a small company or individual.

      So I, for one, will not be welcoming my deathstar overlords.

  • by andrews (12425) <alanNO@SPAMtieless.com> on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:40PM (#22812884)
    I don't know why everyone is saying Verizon is the big winner. AT&T won the vast majority of the B block which, paired with the 12MHz they bought from Aloha, gives them 24 MHz for less than Verizon paid for 20 MHz.

    And there are no open network requirements on AT&T's spectrum.

    Sounds like AT&T came out on top of this deal.
  • yuck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nguy (1207026) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @06:51PM (#22813022)
    Yet another incompatible frequency band. Why can't the US get together with the Europeans on frequency allocations so that the same devices work everywhere?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kid_oliva (899189)
      Because transparency is bad in a world market if you are trying to maximize your profit. The more convoluted the system is, the harder it is to for price comparison to find what the real value is. This was a problem at first when the Euro was made the dominant currency in Europe. People in one country found out quite easily they had been overpaying for the same item offered in another country by the same manufacturer. Similarly, if you make people buy different units just to use something that should be tra
  • You seem to think that big wireless providers like Verizon will be open and well-behaved, simply because they are required to.

    How naive.
    • by iabervon (1971)
      If they don't play by the rules, Google complains to the FCC, and also makes an offer on having the FCC turn over the spectrum to Google. I doubt the FCC would resist too much being able to get away with selling the same thing twice. So long as there are competitors who would buy the spectrum if the FCC had it back, the terms of the agreement are meaningful, because it's in other people's interest for Verizon's deal to fall through, especially after they've already paid their money.
  • by anss123 (985305) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @07:29PM (#22813454)
    What now?
  • ...but why auction off the band in the first place? Why not give control to local governments so that they might offer municipal Wi-Fi, or municipal cell service, or both? I can't think of something that, at its core, is as inherently public as this. Even roads are spatially localized. To give control over it to oligopolistic corporations (which, given ten years, will almost undoubtedly be monopolistic) for a fraction of our GDP seems anti-competitive.

    (Yes, I'm aware that it was auctioned off. Nevertheless,
  • Yet another New Internet Service that will require bundling that Verizon will charge way too much for.
  • Sprint + Google (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darth Cider (320236) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @08:01PM (#22813786)
    Verizon paid 9.6 billion for C Block licenses, but Sprint-Nextel has a market cap of only 18 billion, so for 9 billion (more or less) Google could buy controlling interest. Sprint owns WiMax spectrum that reaches everywhere the C Block reaches, and has infrastructure in place that Google would have needed to capitalize on 700 MHz spectrum. Why buy spectrum when you can buy comparable spectrum PLUS a phone company? Google wouldn't have to buy them outright, or buy even 50 percent, either, just put up a few billion, and Sprint would essentially be theirs. Plus, they could still make use of unlocked Verizon and AT&T services.

    Google's lobbying for open access was incredibly smart. What they didn't pay for spectrum could buy a whole phone company, one competing against companies burdened by all that auction debt.
  • Google is lucky (Score:3, Informative)

    by HungSoLow (809760) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @08:05PM (#22813818)
    Google was lucky to have not bought into the spectrum.

    Antenna design scales linearly with frequency. Lower frequencies invariably require larger antennas. There are some ways you can get around this, i.e. accept low efficiencies, or narrow bandwidth, etc. Either way, you DO NOT want to lower your center frequency.

    Secondly, and most importantly, the next gen for wireless communications will involve MIMO. I assure you, from practical experience and graduate research, you will not see multiple antennas in the 700 MHz spectrum. Nor will you see it at the 900 MHz spectrum. You might be able to pull it off at 1800 MHz, but you'll get at most two antennas. One needs to move into the 2.5 GHz and above to make a reasonably sized handheld WITH multiple antennas. You can't just place the antennas any which way and expect MIMO to work. The antennas need to have low coupling between them, so you need significant electrical distances between them. It's EASY to design multiple antennas for different frequencies (i.e. Quadband), but VERY difficult to design multiple uncoupled antennas at the SAME frequency (i.e. MIMO).
  • The real reason is that nobody likes a "sore looser" and as we know Google tries to be well liked.
  • Huh? [google.com] All I found was a dozen copies of the article.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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