While this does not fill all of Google’s requirements for participation, it does make the future look good on this pending bandwidth.
“The F.C.C. did not approve a provision that would have required the winner of the auction to sell access to its network on a wholesale basis to other companies. Google favored the rule as a way to hasten competition and innovation in the cellphone industry, a market it is considering.
While the language of the ruling has not been made public, it appears that any company that buys the new spectrum will have to leave it open to devices it does not approve or control. If, for instance, Verizon were to buy spectrum, consumers would have to pay Verizon for access to its network but they could use devices of their own choosing on it.
At present, the carriers decide what devices are used on their networks and therefore control many of the services and software available to consumers. The carriers contend this lets them control the quality of the customer’s experience.” [New York Times]
Whether Google bids or not in the end, the network will be available for the consumer which is excellent. Google wanted the option to bid and lose which would let them win either way with access to the network at a reduced price (not 4 Billion) and offer their services even if there was a toll to get there.
The way things are leaning now, you the consumer will be able to buy any compatible device and use it as you like which is quite different from today. Subsidized devices are going to have to get more interesting or go away with this new model. If I can get more on an open system than I can with a subsidized and (usually) limited device I’ll choose the more open system any day.
This is great news for Nokia who sells unlocked higher end devices and should open the door to greater opportunities for marketing. Whether they walk through that door of course is an entirely different question.