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FCC closes 700MHz auction with $3.7B

Posted: 29 Jan 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:700MHz bidding  FCC auction  Google 

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission closed the 700MHz auction Jan. 25 with a total bid of Rs.14,607 crore ($3.7 billion). However, the so-called public safety D Block of spectrum is languishing without any interest beyond its opening round offer of Rs.1,863.38 crore ($472 million).

The C Block was bid up to Rs.7,106.11 crore ($1.8 billion) in the fourth round of bidding. The C Block, which has open access requirements, has eight regional segments that can be melded together. In order for a winner to take away the C Block, the figure would have to reach a Rs.18,160.06 crore ($4.6 billion) minimum figure. Bidders will have several more days and rounds of bidding to reach that figure. If the Rs.18,160.06 crore ($4.6 billion) figure isn't reached, the FCC would re-bid the spectrum, probably with a change in the rules.

While most bidders have held their bidding cards and strategies close to their vest, Google tipped its hand last July that it would pony up Rs.18,160.06 crore ($4.6 billion) to bid in the C Block. There has been no confirmation that Google is, in fact, bidding on the spectrum.

Bidding for the D Block of spectrum was stuck at its first round offer of Rs.1,863.38 crore ($472 million) and has been dying on the vine without a nibble on the last three rounds of bidding. A bid of at least Rs.5,132.19 crore ($1.3 billion) will capture the D Block, which has been provisioned for both nationwide public safety access as well as for commercial use.

- W. David Gardner

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