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Google To Bid On 700MHz Spectrum

Mountain View, Calif. — Google’s Android open-phone platform will have a guaranteed home on a Google-owned wireless network.

The company announced it will participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming auction of 700MHz spectrum, and it will do so alone without partners. Google will file its application to participate with the FCC on Dec. 3.The spectrum auction begins Jan. 24.

Google did not say whether it would bid only on the so-called C block of 700MHz spectrum, whose owners will be required by the FCC to let consumers download any software application they want to their wireless device and use any mobile device they want, not just ones provided by the carrier.

The auction in the UHF-TV band is a step in the government-mandated transition to digital television.

“We believe it’s important to put our money where our principles are,” said Eric Schmidt, Google chairman and CEO. Google had lobbied the FCC for an open-network, open-handset-platform mandate for all segments of the 700MHz band, not just for the C block. “Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today’s wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the Internet.”