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Google Contemplates Historic Auction Bid

As Google preps its Android mobile operating system for 2008 delivery on cell phones, the company is reportedly still considering to bid alone on airwave bandwidth in the 700-megahertz spectrum.

Google operating system bandwidth

The bandwidth is slated to begin auction on January 24, 2008, by the federal government.

Google could bid by itself, pitting itself against wireless carriers such as ATandT, Verizon and VodaFone, or look to join one or more of those companies.

Google executives discussed the auction last week with Federal Communications Commission officials, including FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, according to a Reuters report.

Earlier this year, Google tried unsuccessfully to have the FCC alter its strategy to 700-MHz bandwitch auction to its own benefit, which reportedly ruffled feathers of existing carriers.

Google is reported to be ready to bid at least $4.6 billion if regulators agreed to policies to promote open use of such networks on the spectrum. With Google's backing, the FCC said a large portionof the spectrum will have to be open to networks to allow consumers to use any device on those frequencies. But the FCC did not require open access to be resold on a wholesale basis.

Despite its thought of bidding alone on the spectrum, Google also has shown a knack of fostering partnerships around its mobile strategy too. Earlier this month, it announced the creation of the Open Hand Set Alliance, a 33-member organization that includes Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile to help develop applications and technology around its open-source Android platform, for which phones are expected to hit the street in mid-2008.

Shares of Google were trading at $628.52 Monday morning, down $5.11 or less than 1 percent.

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