Android notwithstanding, it looks like Google will definitely be bidding on the wireless spectrum—and they’re preparing to do it without any partners.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has readied $4.6 billion for the bid, although ABI Research senior analyst Nadine Manjaro says that it could cost $3B to build a network to utilize the spectrum.
However, Google’s not going into this blind: according to the WSJ’s sources, Google is currently testing an “advanced wireless network” at the Googleplex, and they’ve hired game theorists to help them plan their bid. Also:
Behind the scenes, Google also is eyeing financial opportunities, as revenue for U.S. wireless carriers hit $95 billion last year, the research firm Yankee Group estimates. Google could reap subscriber fees if it controlled an operator, and experiment with models such as a one-time licensing fee for consumers to use its network and no monthly access charges. Company executives have said that cellular handsets or services could eventually be subsidized by revenue from advertising consumers view on their cellphones.
They’re in it for the money? No, not Google! Say it ain’t so!
CEO Eric Schmidt has previously told the WSJ that:
the company was considering joining with partners on a bid, but that it “won’t make that decision until the very last minute as more information comes along.”
The last minute fast approaches: Google has until December 3 to file their formal intent to bid. Will they go it alone or will they take on a partner with money, an infrastructure and a customer base?