QuoteToday, both the 700MHz and white-space frequencies are used to deliver analog TV service. But when broadcasters transition to digital TV service in 2009, the 700MHz spectrum, which includes broadcast channels 52 to 69, will be auctioned off. And spectrum between channels 2 to 52 will essentially lay fallow. Public policy experts see this transition to digital as a perfect opportunity to make spectrum available for new players who want to compete in the broadband market. On their own, these slivers of wireless spectrum are not sufficient to provide enough capacity for companies to build wireless broadband services that truly compete against high-bandwidth services offered by the cable and phone companies. But combined with other pieces of spectrum, like Wi-Fi, this spectrum could provide enough capacity to deliver competitive services.
QuoteSatellite providers DirecTV and EchoStar are teaming up under the name Wireless DBS to put down $972.5 million in bids for spectrum. Cable operators Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner have joined forces with Sprint Nextel to form a group called SpectrumCo that is bidding $637.7 million for licenses. Cingular Wireless and Verizon Wireless, which already have plenty of spectrum, have also made separate deposits to bid on the spectrum, according to public documents filed with the FCC. These companies are likely bidding to ensure that others don't get the spectrum too cheaply, some analysts say.