Google announces intention to buy wireless spectrum

Posted by Mark Raby

Mountain View (CA) - The latest chapter in the Google-powered phone hype story is that the search giant announced it is applying to bid for wireless spectrum in an upcoming government auction.

Early next year, the Federal Communications Commission will auction off spectrum of 700 megahertz, the frequency used to operate mobile phone signals.  Google is going after the so-called "C Block", which is the portion of the spectrum that would require the winner to allow customers to download any application they want on their cell phone.

That's right up Google's alley.  It has previously said that it wants to create a mobile operating platform that is akin to open-source computer systems.

"Here at Google, we see the upcoming 700 megahertz spectrum auction at the Federal Communications Commission as one of the best opportunities consumers will have to enjoy more choices in the world of wireless devices," wrote Google head of special initiative Chris Sacca in the official Google blog.

"Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today's wireless world," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a statement.

The auction will begin on January 24, 2008.