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Google Goes It Alone on Spectrum Bid

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 30, 2007

After leaving us months to speculate, Google just announced it will indeed bid in the auction for a piece of the 700 MHz spectrum, filing Dec. 3 with the FCC. The broad reasons are no secret: Google wants to make sure it can freely play in mobile advertising as it develops, especially since cell phones and wireless devices increasingly will become one of the prime portals to the Internet.

But I still think Google must be planning to hook up with partners if and when it wins the bid. Google can’t want to operate a wireless network itself, even less so since it announced its Open Handset Alliance that includes T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Google’s bid will win, either. All the more so because without a partner, it may well have to raise debt to bid enough, since the winning bid could easily be more than its entire cash hoard. We won’t know until next March whether Google has actually won anything. Whatever happens, though, Google’s clearly serious about changing the game in wireless. Om Malik still thinks, as I’ve also said a couple of times, that Google’s continuing to play high-stakes poker. Plenty of hands left to play, though Google won’t be revealing much anymore until the end.

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Reader Comments

steve ballmer

December 7, 2007 07:07 PM

Google is trying to ruin the wireless spectrum just like they did the internet!

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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