Alphabet’s tech titan Google took a page from Sprint on Friday when it confirmed it will not participate in the upcoming FCC spectrum auction.
According to a Reuters report, a Google spokeswoman said the company will be watching the auction “closely,” but has not filed to participate.
Reuters said Google had been in the game for the FCC auction in 2008, but did not purchase any spectrum. The deadline for applications to participate in this year’s forward auction was Wednesday.
The news marks the latest in a string of announcements from companies expected to participate who have instead said they will be sitting out the proceedings.
Tier-1 wireless carrier Sprint announced in September that it would sit out the auction, citing its already “rich spectrum holdings.” Fellow U.S. carrier U.S. Cellular has also hinted it doesn’t need to buy spectrum, but has not outright declared it won’t participate.
Cable operator Charter Communications has also said it is “unlikely” to participate in the auction, mainly due to the awkward timing of its pending transaction with Time Warner Cable.
However, a number of wireless carriers, cable operators and other companies have already announced their intent to take part in the bidding.
Last week, Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh said his company is also planning to file for participation in the auction, but hinted the company may not be a big bidder.
Dish Network, too, is widely expected to participate to the tune of $4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg analysts.
Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya has also said he plans to go head to head with industry giants in the auction. Palihapitiya said he plans to spend between $4 billion and $10 billion in the auction, and will use any spectrum gained in the auction alongside microcells and management from LotusFlare to develop a wireless network that can compete with Verizon and AT&T.
Despite these commitments, concerns have arisen that the auction revenues might not meet the FCC’s expectations. According to Bloomberg, auction totals could simmer at just $33 billion, well below the $45 billion hoped for by the FCC.
The spectrum auction is slated to begin at the end of March.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)