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Verizon, AT&T Big Winners in 700MHz Spectrum Auction

With a bid of more than $9 billion in the FCC auction, Verizon took the consumer-oriented C block of the 700MHz spectrum, while AT&T's $6 billion bid netted it regional licenses in the same block.The auction included an open access requirement that will enable consumers to use any phone or software of their choosing to access the spectrum. Analysts have predicted that the result should be cheaper and, with luck, more innovative options for mobile communications; a bMighty blogger commented last September that it "could make all the difference."

Google, which had submitted a $4.6 billion bid, ended up empty-handed. Nevertheless, the company claims to be happy with the results: a post on the company blog reads, "Although Google didn't pick up any spectrum licenses, the auction produced a major victory for American consumers. We congratulate the winners and look forward to a more open wireless world. As a result of the auction, consumers...soon should begin enjoying new, Internet-like freedom to get the most out of their mobile phones and other wireless devices."

The FCC was equally optimistic. The agency's statement said that "the auction has already had an impact on the wireless industry. Following the Commission's decision to impose an open platform requirement on the C block, Verizon Wireless made a commitment to open its entire network to devices and applications of consumers' own choosing."The Register, ChannelWeb