Incumbent carriers might be less inclined to bid on the C Block--which has some "open access" provisions on it--in the upcoming 700 MHz auction than previously thought: A report from Dow Jones claims that the auction rules do not allow the winning bidder of the C Block spectrum to add it to an existing network, the winning bidder must build a new network for it. The report cites an anonymous carrier executive as its source.
The provision, if it really is in the rules, could be the poison pill for most incumbent bidders. A new entrant, like Google would not be fazed by the rule, because they have no existing wireless network. Verizon Wireless or AT&T, however, may balk at the idea of having to not only support "any device" and allow "any application" for users on this spectrum, but also of starting from scratch with a new network to support it. So, is this the work of a carrier executive trying to shake his rival carriers' bidding plans? Or did the C Block of spectrum just get more unappetizing for incumbent carriers?
For more on the issue:
- read this article from Dow Jones