Frontline Wireless recently closed its business leaving plans for a nationwide public safety network following the 700 MHz auction in the lurch. It's anybody's guess what will happen to the D Block of spectrum, which Frontline was generally favored to win.
"With the recent press reports regarding Frontline's implosion as a viable bidder, concerns among FCC and public safety officials are growing over the fate of the D Block and the success of the auction itself. If the reserve price for the D Block is not met, it can be re-auctioned with or without the same rules," said Jessica Zufolo, a telecom analyst at Medley Global Advisors.
The FCC also seems a bit edgy about Frontline's abrupt demise:
"Given the communications problems that our nation's first responders continue to face during emergencies, it is imperative that we do everything we can to help advance the build-out of a nationwide interoperable broadband network for the good of public safety and the American people," an FCC official told RCR News. "We are hopeful that someone will bid on the spectrum, but at this point, we'll have to wait and see what happens."
Pundits speculate that Frontline's exit leaves AT&T, Verizon Wireless or perhaps even Google as potential bidders for the D Block, but as the FCC official noted--only time will tell.
For more on the ramifications of Frontline's demise:
- read this report from RCR News