Google loses out on 700MHz spectrum auction

Google has been unsuccessful in its attempt to gain a spectrum license in the Federal Communications Commission's 700MHz spectrum auction in the US that ended this week.

The auction, which netted the US government over $19 billion, went mainly to mobile phone operators such as Verizon and AT&T.

However Google did get the FCC to make open-access a condition of sale in the coveted "C-block" of the spectrum before it signed on as a bidder.

In a statement on its company blog, Google said:

"We congratulate the winners and look forward to a more open wireless world. As a result of the auction, consumers whose devices use the C-block of spectrum soon will be able to use any wireless device they wish, and download to their devices any applications and content they wish."

The internet giant then went on to say: "Consumers soon should begin enjoying new, Internet-like freedom to get the most out of their mobile phones and other wireless devices".

The 700MHz band currently carries standard television broadcasts, and will be freed up when stations switch to all-digital broadcasting after 17 February 2009.