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US spectrum auction starts Wednesday

US communications regulator the FCC is planning to auction off 1,122 wireless licenses Wednesday in a move that could bring in as much as $15bn (£7.8bn) for the government.

The licenses to be auctioned are presently being used by the military but would be ideal for the launch of 3G services. Spectrum within the bands 1.7-1.75GHz and 2.1-to 2.15GHz will be available.

IT is thought that 168 bidders have been successful in their application to take part in the auction, with T-Mobile USA seen as a definite bidder. T-Mobile is unable to deploy 3G services until it acquires more spectrum for expansion, which is why the company is expected to be aggressive in its bidding.

Meanwhile, a rumour abounds that Verizon Wireless is in the frame to make a play for regional provider Alltel. Some commentators have suggested that such a strategy explains Alltel’s absence from the spectrum auction.

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