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9/5/2008
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Spectrum Bridge Launches Online Secondary Market

The company unveiled a Web site that enables buyers and sellers of wireless assets to connect.

Spectrum Bridge launched Friday an online market for spectrum trading.

The FCC holds auctions to grant licenses for radio spectrums, and most of these are used by cell phone carriers, or for first-responders and their communication gear. But some of these spectrums aren't being used for a variety of reasons.

Spectrum Bridge's Web site, SpecEx.com, aims to create a secondary market for these unused spectrum. The company said the site can provide an easy and effective way to connect buyers and sellers.

The market could potentially be large, as public-safety agencies, and major wireless carriers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T routinely purchase spectrum on the secondary market. The cable companies could also become potential buyers, especially as some are eyeing the wireless voice space.

The idea of organizing the secondary spectrum market isn't a new one, but previous attempts have not been successful because they couldn't get enough buyers and sellers. But Spectrum Bridge may have timing on its side, as the FCC's last auction was the last major auction expected for a while.

The company said it solves two major problems of the secondary market by offering sellers a way to accurately assess the value of the spectrum, while giving buyers a full list of what's on the market. The company launches with $250 million worth of spectrum in its inventory, and makes money by taking a percentage of the transaction.

All transfers of spectrum would have to be approved by the FCC, but the agency has been supportive of spectrum trading in the past.

The spectrum trading Web site is just the latest effort to use fallow spectrum. Google recently launched a campaign that urges the FCC to open television broadcast spectrum for high-speed wireless Internet networking.

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