Frontline closes doors; D-block auction in question

Frontline Wireless--the wireless startup that lobbied hard to make the private-public partnership licensing scheme a reality in the 700 MHz band for public safety--has shut down operations after failing to raise enough money to bid in the upcoming 700 MHz auction, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Frontline had planned on building a nationwide, high-speed wireless network for public safety officials, but even with the backing of L. John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, as well as other supporters, the company raised enough for the $128 million down payment, but not enough for the $1.3 billion reserve price on the spectrum.

Frontline's move could represent a serious setback for auction of the D-block band--which is reserved for an auction winner that plans to build a network for public safety and commercial customers--as it is believed Frontline is the only entity set to bid on the spectrum.

For more on Frontline shutting down:
- read this article from the WSJ (sub. req.)
- check out this report from Mobile Radio Technology Magazine