Bidding is set to begin Jan. 24 for the 700 MHz spectrum auction and will remain anonymous with companies bidding via the Internet or by telephone. The FCC will not release any news of the winning bidders until the auction is completed, which means we might have to wait until March to hear the results.
However, with only two weeks left until bidding begins, and no new entrants allowed, some industry observers are concerned that no bidder will step up for the discounted D Block of spectrum, set aside by Congress and the FCC for use by U.S. public safety organizations. The FCC’s plan, formed in part by lobbying from the now defunct startup Frontline Wireless, included an extra swatch of spectrum adjacent to the airwaves set aside for the national public safety network, which the winning bidder could use to service to customers or resell to other carriers.
The well-connected Frontline Wireless closed its doors last week, after completing the initial application to participate in the auction. Frontline Wireless was thought to be the main contender for the D Block of spectrum.
The FCC rules of the auction forbid potential bidders talking about the auction, so one of the already cleared 214 companies could be planning a move to bid for the D Block.
Filed Under: Infrastructure