Thursday, January 31, 2008

Google Becomes a "Telephone Company"

Today the 700 MHz C-Block 50 state package auction closed over $4.7 billion, passing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reserve price of $4.6 billion. Passing the $4.6 billion mark is important because it assures this piece of spectrum will be sold under the current rules. This means the winning bidder will have to let devices from other carriers use the network.

Most believe the two companies bidding on this piece of spectrum are Google and Verizon. Regardless of who actually wins the bid - Verizon, Google or another company, Google will have access to the spectrum for their Android project. Android is what Google is calling the first complete, open, and free mobile platform, part of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies who have come together to accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience.

The Open Handset Alliance group is committed to commercially deploy handsets and services using the Android Platform in the second half of 2008.

If the minimum bid of $4.6 billion had not been met, the FCC would have gone back, re-worked the rules, likely removing the open access piece, and then would have re-auctioned the C-Block. With the open access rule now locked in place, the success of Android is almost certain.

A day in history - January 31, 2008 - Google becomes a "telephone company".

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