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Optus has concluded a trial of 700MHz 4G services in Bendigo, claiming speeds of up to 70Mbps and transmission distances of 13 kilometres. That’s good news in the long term, particularly for rural areas, but it won’t make any difference right now.
Those fancy wireless signals that give you sweet, sweet Facebook access on your mobile dont grow on trees, you know. They travel along wireless frequencies that are collected by the government and sold off to the highest bidder. And the next big wireless spectrum auction is getting ready to happen next year.
It’s been our hunch all along that Verizon would take all in the 700MHz spectrum auction, but analysts are now confirming our suspicions from the other day: Verizon is set to win the most hotly desired slice of airwaves in the country, which can be used for anything from an entirely new mobile broadband service to boosting their current data setup. Whatever they do with it, they’ve gotta keep it open. [Forbes]
While the hot and heavy 700MHz a(u)ction is anonymously taking place behind closed doors, we do know a couple of big things have happened. That potential winning bid from Thursday was punked down by a surprise total bid of $4.74 billion. This is juicy because it indicates Google has probably been outbid—assuming it was the party that pushed the bid past the $4.6 billion open access reserve, as it had promised—most likely by Verizon, using some slightly complicated rule shuffling with the regional licenses comprising the block.
Going once, going twice, sold to Verizon! Or something like that. The FCC’s 700MHz spectrum auction starts today, and you can watch all of the hot bidding action right here. It’s auction 73, and the page is so exciting I nearly peed my pants.