Apple may bid on airwaves auction

Apple may bid for the rights to a wireless spectrum auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission, a risky but intriguing move that would help carry the consumer electronics company into the telecommunications realm, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report, citing a BusinessWeek article said Apple CEO Steve Jobs has 'studied the implications' of bidding on the spectrum, which analog TV broadcasters will return to the government in 2009 as they switch to digital television.

Analysts have speculated wildly on other possible bidders, including Silicon Valley neighbors Google and eBay, the report said.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

The auction, which the FCC says will take place in January and could raise as much as $15 billion, will determine rights to a 700-Mhz wireless network with faster Internet access than cellular or Wi-Fi networks offer, the Associated Press report said.

If Apple bid and won, it could offer service on its iPhone, which currently runs exclusively on AT&T's network and requires a two-year contract for $60 per month, the report said. Apple could change the terms or even give free access to a network.

The report said experts described an Apple bid as unlikely. Apple, which debuted the iPhone in June, would be taking on too much, too soon, they said.