Cellular-News is reporting that cable companies, satellite broadcasters, and cell-phone service providers are lining up to compete for valuable new wireless licenses tomorrow. The FCC will host an auction for 1,122 licenses in a spectrum (2100MHz) that is currently being used by the military and law enforcement. The licenses would help wireless carriers to upgrade their services, while allowing cable and satellite companies to get into new business lines. The money raised (estimated at 15 billion USD) will help switch government users to another frequency.
T-Mobile is expected to play a big role in the auction. The fourth-largest US wireless carrier lacks the capacity to provide mobile Internet services, which the three top players are already doing. T-Mobile will likely bid aggressively for a multitude of spectrum licenses. Expect the other major carriers (Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel) to place bids partly to ensure that T-Mobile doesn’t get the licenses too cheaply, but effectively stay out of the running until the 2008 auction.