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700 MHz Spectrum ( For The Geeks)


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After yesterday's wrap-up of the gargantuan Auction 73 to offload the newly-freed 700MHz spectrum, it looks like the two champions to emerge are Verizon and AT&T. Big Red has emerged with virtually all of the highly coveted C Block save for Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Gulf of Mexico, a logical move considering its recent foray into the wide world of open access. AT&T, meanwhile, has scored much of the B Block, giving it 12MHz of spectrum in many of over 700 "cellular market areas" nationwide. In total, Verizon laid out a whopping $4,741,807,000 to pick up the Block C airwaves, leaving early competitor Google in the dust -- and affirming rumors that Mountain View wasn't in it to win it, it just wanted to make sure the reserve price was met and open access rules were assured.


Other winners include Qualcomm, which won bits and pieces of the B and E Blocks -- more MediaFLO spectrum, perhaps? -- and Frontier Wireless, scoring the overwhelming majority of the low-bandwidth E Block. Frontier is in cahoots with Echostar, though it's not clear how (or if) the new spectrum would augment its satellite TV service.


Left out in the cold was the D Block, a wireless range which the FCC had required to be used in partnership with public safety groups; it failed to meet its minimum reserve price of $1.33 billion, which means that a new Auction 76 will be automatically spawned for bidders to have another go at it. Follow the break for the big winners, broken down by block.




Block Big winner Total spent (approximate, across all blocks)

A No clear winner


B AT&T $6,636,658,000


C Verizon Wireless $9,363,160,000


D Qualcomm $472,042,000 (did not meet reserve)


E Frontier Wireless $711,871,000



if you really want to understand the technical issues, read this article on gigaOM. The best part is the comments from people with radio engineering backgrounds.)



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Fine, but what are you trying to tell us with this tread..?

Does this affect us in any way?




yes very much so for internet purposes ( you will have new internet speeds reaching 100MHz + anywhere in the USA via Wifi ( this means phones and pda/smartphones

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I quoted ATWW's first post and wrote out a huge layman's response. And then I realized more than I wanted to write.



Oh well.






This is also, in my mind, marks the beginning of a larger information infrastructure revolution. Seeing the development of the Semantic Web, the change in the interface of hand held devices, and the refocusing of embedded technologies I think we are in store for some crazy shit for the next ten to fifteen years and beyond.






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  • 5 years later...

I'm still not sure…

Seems like it woulda been a badass time to get some stock in ATT tho

They seem to be the big dog and this deal was what let them get there??


But I do know it's almost 5 years later and TV can still be picked up w analog antennae Local and messican stations

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