US cable operator Cablevision Systems has submitted paperwork to bid in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spectrum auction in the 700MHz band in January 2008. Cablevision is the second Cable provider, after Cox communications, to get in on the wireless spectrum bandwagon.
Cox will bid on its own, and Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications will not participate. AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless, two the main National wireless carriers in the U.S. plan to participate, while the Satellite provider EchoStar Communications is also rumoured to be in the running. Other confirmed bidders include Leap Wireless, MetroPCS and Google.
The auction of the 700 MHz is billed as one of the most important in this century – primarily because this swath of spectrum can be used for very high speed wireless services and part of the spectrum has to be ulitized with ‘open acess’, where a customer can bring any device and use any software on any mobile device. This essentially makes the wireless services a bit-pipe, much like how DSL and Cable Internet services work today.