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Wireless Auction Opens with $2.4 Billion in Top Bids

Top bidders put up a total of more than $2.4 billion on Thursday in the opening round of the Federal Communications Commission's auction of coveted U.S. government-owned airwaves. The figure represents the highest bids received for five separate blocks of spectrum at the beginning of the auction, which is eventually expected to net the federal government at least $10 billion.

Companies qualified to bid include major carriers AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless, as well as possible new competitors like Internet company Google Inc, EchoStar Communications Corp and Cablevision Systems Corp. Identities of bidders will be kept secret until the entire auction ends under FCC rules.Analysts say the major carriers could use the new spectrum to offer consumers more advanced services such as broadband access via mobile phones and wireless broadband to laptop computers.

View: The full story @ eWeek

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