Following a WSJ report that it would do so, Google has announced that it will apply to participate in the Federal Communications Commission's upcoming auction of wireless spectrum in the 700MHz band.

"We believe it's important to put our money where our principles are", said Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google in a statement.

"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."

The spectrum is being freed up as a result of the States' transition to digital television and the auction begins January 24, 2008.

The bandwidth has a reserve price of $4.6 billion and comes with the condition that consumers will be able to chose what software application they wish to use on a mobile device.

Google's formal application to participate in the 700 MHz auction will be filed with the FCC on Monday, December 3, 2007 - the required first step in the auction process and does not include any partners.