The airwaves are up for grabs in the US, and a variety of firms are hoping to place successful bids. However, Congress is yet to make up its mind on whether the wireless spectrum auction, scheduled to take place on June 19, will go ahead.
In total 758 wireless licenses will be auctioned, and 128 bidders have passed the initial stages successfully and have been allowed to place bids. However, it is looking likelier that the auction will take place in January instead.
The licenses cover rural locations and have become free as the preferred method of television transmission shifts towards digital signal. Over the next few years, more and more of these licenses should be available for auction.
Bidders for the licences include small telecoms firms such as Arctic Slope Telecommunications and Cellular Inc. and Gabelli’s Lynch 3G Communications Corp, as well as larger broadcasting companies like the Sinclair Broadcast Group.
However, telecoms giants such as Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless have been put off placing bids, both due to the uncertain auction date, and due to their losses from the ongoing NextWave debacle. Unless Congress makes a decision soon, other bidders could begin to drop out.