700MHz Bidders targeting Broadband Wireless

There's much excitement in the US as a number of large corporations are bidding for a slice of the 700MHz spectrum that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are currently auctioning. Their rationale is that this frequency has the inherent ability to provide broadband wireless services to mobile devices for significantly cheaper costs than hitherto possible.

The FCC are able to make this spectrum available as it was previously used for analogue TV which has now been rendered redundant by its digital equivalent.

700MHz is so much better than the usual US frequencies for mobile phones (1900 and 2400MHz) because it travels so much further, thereby requiring less mobile phone masts and associated cell equipment. 700MHz would require typically four times less equipment than 1900MHz and ten times less than 240MHz.

The impact for wearable technology is obvious, with low cost broadband wireless, the ability to browse the web on your head mounted display at decent speeds becomes so much more affordable and practicable. Of course, web browsing is just the tip of the ice-berg, a whole raft of new services suddenly become feasible but this much bandwidth - entertainment services, navigation services, etc.

Currently, the three leading bidders are Google, Verizon and AT&T with a bunch of others following.

In Europe, we can expect to see similar excitement in due course with many countries moving over to digtal TV thereby freeing up equally attractive bundles of spectrum.