Google, Vodafone, Verizon want to own some US spectrum

Bidding for the 700MHz US Wireless Spectrum has reached nearly $14 billion by the 31st of January 2008, according to CNN.

A number of companies had expressed their interest to acquire some of the so-called "C block" of nationwide spectrum and they were asked to bid at least $4.6 billion to be on the bidding list and while bidders are anonymous, it is believed that Google, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone are likely bidders.

The C-block is one of five blocks of the spectrum in the 700MHz frequency being auctioned by the US government and is considered the most valuable because of its penetration abilities and the fact that it can carry data over long distances.

Google has been said to be interested in both US and UK wireless spectrum and as part of the 4G wireless group - which also includes Yahoo, Intel and a few other tech firms - the company has been a proponent of more open access rules to provide with better Wireless internet services.

Whoever wins the bid would have to come up with a wireless broadband network which would be opened to any device from any players, hence creating a level field; a departure from the current situation in the US.

There have been some questions though whether Google, a company with little telecommunications experience, albeit with deep pockets, can take on such a phenomenal venture without burning itself, especially as the US economy is slowing down.

The auction is expected to last for several more weeks.