Verizon walks away with wireless prize

Verizon walks away with wireless prize

US firm wins FCC C-block auction

Verizon has been named as the big winner in the US Federal Communication Commission's wireless spectrum auction.

The US firm shelled out $9.6bn for 108 wireless spectrum licences, including those in the much-publicised C block of the 700MHz spectrum.

This spectrum garnered media attention last summer when FCC chairman Kevin Martin announced that the block could become an open network.

The rule would force the network to allow access from any wireless device, thus preventing the operator from limiting access to a specific brand or line of handsets.

Google was among the perspective suitors for the auction. The company had lobbied the FCC to include the open spectrum rule, and had later vowed to meet the $4.65bn reserve price required to put the rule into effect.

Alhough Google did not win the auction, the company issued a statement declaring it a "victory for consumers".

"As a result of the auction, consumers whose devices use the C-block of spectrum will soon be able to use any wireless device they wish, and download to their devices any applications and content they wish," Google said in a blog posting.

"Consumers soon should begin enjoying new, internet-like freedom to get the most out of their mobile phones and other wireless devices."