FCC Starts Mini-Auction For Airwaves

A US Government auction for airwaves in the states has netted just under a billion dollars worth of bids, Reuters reports.

The FCC is auctioning licenses that bankrupt NextWave Telecom gave back as part of a debt settlement with the government. Areas covered in the auction include Los Angeles, an area where many carriers are keen to get involved in. In total, there are 242 licenses up for auction, and 35 companies expressed interest in the auctions.

T-Mobile, the 4th biggest carrier in the states, is expected to fight hard for licenses in an attempt to expand its coverage. It's plans to role out advanced services like 3G are limited by the companies lack of spectrum in key markets. Verizon Wireless, a tie up between international mobile giant Vodafone and Verizon Communications, is also expected to bid hard.

A similar auction for 3G Licenses in the UK in 2000 netted the government a massive £22Bn (~$41bn) with Vodaphone making the largest bid of £5.964bn ($11.225bn).

View: FCC Homepage | Reuters

View: Wired: NextWave Telecom's Twisted Tale

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