Google's formal application to participate in the 700 MHz auction will be filed with the FCC on Monday, December 3, 2007. Some details... As part of the nationally mandated transition to digital television, the 700 MHz spectrum auction -- which begins January 24, 2008 -- will free up spectrum airwaves for more efficient wireless Internet service for consumers. Advocacy by public interest groups and Google earlier this year helped ensure that regardless of which bidders win a key portion of the spectrum up for auction (the so-called "C Block"), they will be required to allow their users to download any software application they want on their mobile device, and to use any mobile devices they would like on that wireless network. The winner must ensure these rights for consumers if the reserve price of $4.6 billion for the C Block is met at auction.
So what does this mean.. well, speculation has it that with the coming "Google phones" in 08, the company now potentially owning their own piece of the spectrum will be able to offer a bundled solution... imagine getting your "Google phone" (running Android OS) and as a user you may have unlimited and bundled (think free) Internet access 24/7. I know right now I'm paying out another $30 a month for a data plane with my carrier. I'm imagining a fully inclusive wireless/data service to use the new devices that will likely cost somewhere in the $50 a month range - or maybe we'll simply buy a device for $250 and service will be free (supported by ads) - I could handle that!! Google will be taking on RIM and many others. Should be interesting to see... I can't wait for next Spring's CTIA show for more on this! This comment from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, "Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today's wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the Internet."