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Impact of Verizon winning the auction for 700mhz band.

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arias

Regular Contributor
I'm curious if anyone has any insight into the politics of this development.

My understanding is that Google insisted prior to auction upon the FCC forcing the winner to comply by certain 'open' standards. My heart sunk when I heard it was nabbed by Verizon, considering they seem to be the most proprietary and fiercely protective of all the wireless providers, I figured they would find a way around the FCC's
preconditions.

Anyone know more details about this? Sad that the auction itself was so anti-climactic, as I had hoped Google would actually enter bidding and the G-phone was more than just a geek concept.
 
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Some feel Google was the real winner; they got their say without spending a dime. Verizon sued about it once they won, but later dropped it (torch now carried by CTIA, the industry group).

They'll be adopting GSM-based tech (LTE), which is interesting considering Verizon is one of the largest CDMA networks in the US.

Projected rollout:
Feb 2009: Analog TV broadcasting ends.
Late 2009: Deployment begins of LTE infrastructure.
Late 2010: Commercial Availability
2011: Nationwide coverage

Note that AT&T is pursing similar plans with their portion (B Block); it looks like the future of wireless data will be split between Sprint/WiMAX and AT&T|Verizon/LTE.

More Information:
Verizon's rollout plans
 
Cool ...

Okay, I'm glad they dropped their lawsuit. However, what about the 'open' standard? Will competitors be allowed to build products that use the 700mhz band?

Or are they required to pay some sort of royalty to Verizon in doing so?
 
A broadcast license isn't a patent: anyone can make devices that transmit on that frequency. In fact, there is a movement to make the 700 MHz band a worldwide standard. By winning the C-block auction, Verizon got broadcast rights to that frequency in the US. This means that if you want cell service using that band, it'll have to be through Verizon or a licensed partner/peer/subsidiary.

The "openness" of their network referred to the use of third-party devices. If I have a phone that is capable of operating on a particular cell network, should I be allowed to use it? Given that there is little incentive for carriers to allow this, the answer has typically been no. By saying yes, they lose a sale of a new phone, and accept the use of potentially disruptive technologies. And by disruptive, I refer to their business plan. Ringtones, backgrounds, map services, streaming video, picture mail--premium services that are relied upon as a source of income. The problem is that that these services are free (ad driven) to the end user on the Internet; once the barriers (locked/crippled phones) are removed, there is little incentive for users to throw more money at their phone service provider. Verizon's negative response to the openness stipulation wasn't surprising. Since Google intends to be the one providing these services in their stead, this development was a major win for them.

To answer your question, Verizon did promise to adhere to the terms of the auction:
Ars Coverage
 
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