The Players In The 700 MHz Auction

It will be a while before the list of official bidders in the 700 MHz spectrum auction in the US are announced, but there are some statements out already. What is known:
— Frontline will bid, which is hardly surprising since that was the whole reason the company was formed. (Wired)
— AT&T (NYSE: T) is bidding, although it did get a whole bunch of spectrum via its purchase of Aloha. (PC Mag)
— Cox Communications will bid, while fellow cable operators Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) won’t (RCR News)
— Google (NSDQ: GOOG) will bid, which has been known for a while.
— Verizon (NYSE: VZ) will bid, Sprint (NYSE: S) Nextel doesn’t plan to (Forbes)

That’s all the definites, Forbes does a good job of listing the maybes, which include Clearwire (to get more national coverage) and smaller telcos like MetroPCS, Leap Wireless and Alltel (NYSE: AT) could bid for smaller blocks to fill out their networks… T-Mobile is unlikely to bid aggressively, while Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) might bid to get more spectrum for its MediaFLO service. Then there are the off-beat suggestions, such as satellite TV companies DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) and Echostar, (NSDQ: DISH) retailers like Best Buy and Wal Mart, and the almost pathologically unlikely: Handset manufacturers.


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