Google Thought To Be Out Of The Running In The Wireless Spectrum Auction

Analysts are saying that Google is probably out of the running for the “C Block” of wireless spectrum that it had been bidding on.

From Forbes:

“Verizon wants more spectrum to close the gap between it and AT&T,” said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Rebecca Arbogast. Verizon owns 49 megahertz of spectrum compared to AT&T’s 75 megahertz. “I’m reasonably confident that Google does not have the spectrum now,” she added.

Anaylsts are speculating that Google bid just over the reserve in order to make sure that the open network concessions would apply to the C-Block.

Also, it’s thought that Verizon is trying to take control of the block by bidding up the smaller regional pieces of spectrum in order to take advantage of an FCC rule that says if “regional bids top the bids for the C block, that block must be split up and apportioned to the highest bidder or bidders.”

Google could then bow out gracefully and everyone is happy.

What do you think? Did Google accomplish its mission by lobbying the FCC for an open network? Or will you be disappointed if C-block goes to Verizon?

Google Likely Out, And Happy [Forbes]


Edit Your Comment

  1. TechnoDestructo says:

    I’m not sure I’d count on enforcement of any open network requirements.

  2. Rando says:

    Kidding right? You do realize google wants to take over the world, and this is a big start. They’re still in it.

  3. Bay State Darren says:

    They’re trying for C-Block, huh? They’d probably have an easier time were they trying to land on Ad Seg, Gen Pop, or Em City. [Am I the only one who thought of prisons upon hearing this phrase or am I just weird?]

  4. mthrndr says:

    @Bay State Darren: No, you’re not. the OP is complete gibberish to me, except Google, Verizon, and the word spectrum. might as well be talking about prison.

  5. IndyJaws says:

    Adebisi is behind this somehow, I just know it…

  6. JustAGuy2 says:


    If they are, their bidding strategy is weird bordering on the loony. They’re out. They never wanted to spend $6BN on spectrum and $7-10BN to build out a wireless network – Google’s a service company, not an infrastructure company (with the exception of their server farms).

  7. Falconfire says:

    @JustAGuy2: agreed, Google doesnt care how this is being used, as long as its completely open for them to use it. They didnt want to win it, they wanted to force others to have to play fair, which had they not bid up to that mark they couldnt have pulled off.

  8. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    The only thing I would ever want from Verizon if FiOS. Other than that, go away. So this wouldn’t make me happy. Then again, I can’t say I’d like any of the carriers to get it, except maybe the laggard in data, T-Mobile. They could really use some EVDO service offerings if you ask me.

  9. weakdome says:

    I had a buddy on C-block. Well, I did, ’till Maddog shanked him in the laundry room.

  10. Bay State Darren says:

    @IndyJaws: I’m so glad to see a fellow Oz fan here! IIRC, the C-Block on the show was actuall the Aryans’ turf. [And the themesong is now stuck in my head.]

  11. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @UnStatusTheQuo: Seconded. Except replace T-Mo with a consumer-friendly startup so that we’d get some real f’in competition for a change.

  12. JohnMc says:

    Ok, listen up. Google, AT&T and VZ as well as 200+ other bidders want portions of spectrum out of 700mhz. There there are things about the post left unsaid.

    1) AT&T, they received FCC approval just yesterday for final acquisition of the Aloha Properties wireless spectrum. Aloha had/has wireless coverage in about 60 of the 100 top metro markets.

    AT&T if they wish to play it smart is right now bidding on the REAG/EAG offerings to fill in the balance of what they don’t have control over in the remaining markets. For them to charge after the ’50 States’ C block bidding is not good business sense as they would essentally be paying twice for coverage in the same areas.

    2) Verizon would like to have this spectrum as well. But not necessarily dearly. Keep in mind that VZ has tossed their hat into the LTE bandwagon. So they could stand pat and use their existing infrastructure to provide advanced services over LTE. So their demand is valid only up to the difference in the opportunity cost vs new build out of not doing LTE.

    3) Google has more at stake than VZ. If Google was the bidder who bumped it to the reserve price for the 50 States package then in a sense they have won one concession of open access. But the best of assurances is that they possess the spectrum rather than just being passive about it. Being able to garner transport revenues AND Adsense revenues makes cents.

    The other consideration that some commenter’s have made is the build out. My rebuttal is you would be surprised just how little the AT&T, Verizon, Comcasts do of their own outside plant work. I work for one of them, they have divested themselves of outsaide plant engineering staff. They all depend on contractors. Well the very same contractors that did a job for AT&T Mobility can do so for Google in a heartbeat. As to the cost, Google partners there as well. They go to the very same losing bidders in the REAG bidding and offer them a 60/40 split of the revenues if they front a similar chunk of the cost and management. They bring in a Nortel or Cicso to do the global management of the overall network and have their regional partners handle any WISP related problems that come up.

    Its a virtual world, and monolithic ownership is on its way out.

  13. ncboxer says:

    @JohnMc: You lost me when you said “There there are things about the post left unsaid.”. I thought the post had too much gibberish.

  14. AaronC says:

    @ncboxer: I thought John made some good points. Maybe you should try reading it again.

  15. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    I just have a hard time believing that google having said they will at least meet the reserve, would be outbid by such a small amount in comparison to the original bid, and not re-bid. I hope Google wins, their company structure and software innovation is some of the best in the world. Google street view connected 700mhz gps systems , Google earth connected constellation finders, so many uses.

  16. LTS! says:

    Something I haven’t seen mentioned, but you know has to be factored in somewhere is the convenient timing of Microsoft’s hostile bid to Yahoo!


    Have you seen Google’s stock since that announcement? Hard to keep bidding up when your stock is falling.

    Coincidence? Microsoft has a strong tie to Verizon through the marketing of it’s Windows Mobile 6 platform, something Google’s Android will compete with directly.

    Think about it…

  17. Sasquatch says:

    Gigantic corporation beats big corporation at auction. Yawn.