700 MHz spectrum

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700 MHz spectrum

The 698-806 MHz range of TV channel frequencies (UHF 52 through 69) that were made available when the U.S. switched from analog to digital TV in June 2009 (see digital TV transition). The FCC auctioned most of the remaining blocks in this spectrum from January 24 to March 18, 2008 (see chart below), which is expected to be used for high-speed Internet and data services for mobile devices.

Coveted Frequencies
The advantage of the 700 MHz spectrum is that the signals travel longer distances than the higher frequencies used by many other wireless systems. Networks using this spectrum require fewer cell towers to reach the same geographic area. In addition, like TV broadcasting, signals in this spectrum penetrate walls easily.

The Results - $19.6 Billion in Winning Bids
Verizon and AT&T were the big winners. For USD $9.9 billion, Verizon won 109 licenses nationwide in the A, B and C blocks; each C-block license covering a huge geographic area. AT&T won 227 B-block licenses for $6.6 billion. Dish Network won 168 E-block licenses for $712 million, while competitor DirecTV did not bid at all, and King Street Wireless picked up 152 licenses in various A and B blocks. The remaining licenses were won by several other organizations including Paul Allen's Vulcan Spectrum LLC, which secured A-block licenses in Oregon and Washington State.

Google Lost and Won
Google did not win any licenses, but bid high enough to trigger rules that require C-block licensees to open their networks. Under FCC rules, a $4.6 billion bid for the C-block would ensure the creation of a network open to third-party devices and applications.

The 700 MHz Auction
In 2008, more than a thousand regional licenses in the 700 MHz spectrum were won at auction. Nobody bid the USD $1.3 billion minimum for the D blocks next to the Public Safety blocks. Owners of the D-Public Safety blocks would have nationwide access and the right to use Public Safety spectrum when available.
References in periodicals archive ?
The possible sale of the license in an FCC auction could be worth tens of millions to bandwidth-hungry telecoms and, in a dream scenario, repay creditors and investors.
Verizon had obtained the 700 MHz A and B licenses, as well as nationwide 700 MHz upper C licenses (with the exception of Alaska which has since been acquired), in FCC Auction 73 in 2008.
1997 gave the FCC auction authority until September 30, 2007.
The FCC auction last week failed to attract a winning bid to build a wireless network for emergency responders.
This consortium represents over 40,000 Alaska Native shareholders, and our participation in the FCC auction is a huge step forward in establishing a role for our companies and our shareholders in the New Economy," Jacob Adams, president and chief executive officer of Arctic Slope Regional Corp.
1Mil Fine For Poor Service; Hughes Electronics To Buy DSL Provider Telocity; Lucent Cutting Costs, Jobs; FCC Auction Posts Record $9.
Ohm needed the loan from Kennedy in order to obtain the rights to Channel 48 at an FCC auction for digital stations and licenses.
A subsidy to an FCC auction participant can also be thought of as forgone government revenues that could have been used to reduce taxpayers' liability.
TCI, a loser at the FCC auction and one of Primestar's main owners, has made no secret it wants to be in the high-power business.
After the three licensed companies invested heavily in research and development, Congress decided that all future pioneer licenses must be bought at an FCC auction.
The complaint also asks for an injunction to stop the pending sale of KMYA filed with the FCC by I Square Media and the appointment of a special master to oversee the possible sale of the license in an ongoing FCC auction.
Presentations from the FCC, NAB, American Tower, Dielectric, GatesAir and Pearl provided a forum to discuss topics related to the reverse FCC auction, spectrum repack, and technologies and strategies to help station owners navigate the transition.