As widely expected, both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the two largest wireless carriers, say they’ll use the spectrum to build “fourth-generation,” or “4G” wireless networks using a nascent technology called “LTE.” That’s a competing technology to WiMax, which Sprint Nextel (S) is using to build its oft-delayed 4G network.
Verizon Wireless plans to launch its LTE network in 2010; AT&T didn’t announce a time frame. (Update: Om Malik says 2012.) Last month, Pacific Crest Securities analyst Steve Clement estimated that Verizon (VZ) could spend about $5.7 billion on a network using the new spectrum and AT&T (T) could spend about $3.5 billion.
Qualcomm (QCOM) says it will use the airwaves it bought in the auction to expand its MediaFlo mobile TV service. And satellite provider Dish Network, the third biggest spender in the auction, won’t discuss its plans, RCR Wireless News reports.
Meanwhile, “happy loser” Google posted a lengthy note about the auction to its public policy blog, vowing to maintain a loud presence in Washington as far as wireless policy is concerned. Google’s lobbying is responsible for the “open access” rules the FCC mandated on the spectrum Verizon will use for its 4G network. (Verizon will have to let subscribers use any compatible device and any software application on those airwaves.)
Google’s next project: Lobbying the government with Microsoft (MSFT), Motorola (MOT), Dell (DELL), and others to open up so-called “white spaces” spectrum between TV channels for companies to use for free, high-speed wireless networks.
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