CNet News.com has an opinion piece about what Google can do with the 700 MHz spectrum set to auction. Reisinger makes some good points about what Could happen, but reality is another deal.
- The spectrum doesn't get released until 2009. And with ATT buying Aloha's 700 spectrum, they have the advantage / head start.
- Equipment is limited and expensive.
- This spectrum is not the be-all-end-all. It still requires NLOS. It only gets 54Mbps in the 12 MHz block -- about the same overall throughput as 802.11g.
- It would take a LONG time to build out the network. Long time.
- It would require big money. Let's say just $6B for the spectrum. Then about $20M per NFL city (about $640M to hit 32 cities).
That being said, if marketed correctly and unlocked devices will work (like a GooglePhone and the Nokia N models as well as the open-source handsets and laptops) then the public would certainly use the network, which would result in a dip in revenues to the Big 2 cellcos. They'll just make it up with special access rate hikes.
If the comments on the VZ Policy blog are any indication, customers in the US are fed up with the current state of telecom. And Google - or whoever makes the most changes - will win.