The FCC's 700-MHz auction is not too far off and they are going to be something different if the news leading up to the big event is any indicator.
One thing is for sure: the auctions are not going to be a walk in the park for entrenched cellular operators. Besides competing among themselves, they are going to have to deal with well-funded Internet companies. Google, in particular, is ramping up its formidable financial arsenal to win some "beach-front spectrum."
Watching Google's stock price is something of an obsession already and I'm just not sure what the auctions are going to do to it.
The auction would be interesting even without Google (although we have to give credit to Google for part of the newness).
For the firs time, strict bidder anonymity will be in force. There will be anti-collusion directives, and some well-funded but non-traditional players potentially taking the mound to throw some curve-balls.
If you'd like to get a better perspective on what might happen, I suggest attending the Wireless Communication Alliance's Mobile SIG event "Analyze This! : The 700 MHz Auctions."
The WCA has assembled a panel of top analysts discuss the 700 MHz auctions. It will include Quentin Hardy of Forbes, Andy Seybold of 4Mobility, and Mike Thelander of Signals Research Group. Clint McClellan of QUALCOMM will serve as moderator.
You'll hear their thoughts on questions such as: How might this auction proceed, and what might the US broadband landscape look like when the dust settles?
Who are the likely winners and losers of this auction, and are there any dark-horses? Is there enough spectrum available in this auction to provide a new player with enough spectrum to build a new nationwide network?
How will Open Access really play out? Will anyone bid on the shared commercial/first responder portion of the spectrum? What (if any) are the possible unintended consequences to these auctions?
The event is being held at Santa Clara University's Recital Hall. More information is available at www.wca.org.