Google confirms plans to join spectrum auction

Google has confirmed it will take part in the US government auction of 700 MHz wireless spectrum.

Google said it would bid for the 'C Block' section of the spectrum, which is on sale at a reserve price of $4.6 billion.

The spectrum has been freed up by the move to digital TV. Following lobbying by Google and other groups earlier this year, the C Block will be available as open spectrum, available for use with any device or any software application that end-users choose.

'We believe it's important to put our money where our principles are,' said Eric Schmidt, Google chairman and CEO. 'Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today's wireless world.'

The prospect of Google's participation in the auction has sparked speculation over the company's plans for the mobile industry and who it would partner with.

However, the search firm said would be bidding for the spectrum on its own.