The Federal Communications Commission has anounced the list of bidders for the 700 MHz spectrum and the roster includes a varying array of individuals and businesses.
The biggest driver of change is an event slated for February, 2009. It is, of all things, the shutdown of analog television broadcasting. The conversion to digital TV will free up space now occupied by UHF channels 52 to 69. A chunk is being turned over to police and fire departments, and the rest will be auctioned off in January, 2008.
While Google, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are no surprise, the 266 entrants also include the likes of Chevron, Paul Allen through his venture Capital firm Vulcan Inc. and entrepreneurs such as Mitchell Hoffman, a registered nurse from San Diego. The spectrum is a valuable resource that could usher in the next era of the Web. And most of the bidders have their plans around licensing the spectrum to other businesses.
The technology landscape is rife with buzz on the Web 2.0. Version numbers are staple to the software industry when it comes to showcasing new products. But unlike products which have a definite list of features and additions, Web 2.0 is one of the most imprecisely defined transitions. I am making no attempt to give another new definition to it, but would like to mention the simple explanation that I had read about. One Yahoo representative defined the various transitions in the history of Web as – Web 1.0; refering to time when 56kbps was the norm. Web 2.0; 1Mbps and higher speeds that have made all these online ‘social’ revolutions possible. And Web 3.0 would possiblly be bandwidth of 10Mbps and higher that will result in a whole new environment for applications online.
The 700 MHz spectrum will make available a whole slew of applications that will be accissible off mobile devices with speeds same as or more than current broadband. That in my opinion would be the next era of the Web with mobile computing really taking off and a whole new set of applications designed from the ground-up with mobile devices in mind.