Yup, Chevron has an intent to bid on the 700MHz spectrum come the end of January. Guess who else wants to own some airwaves? Paul Allen. If you’re not familiar, he co-founded a little company called Microsoft. To be accurate, he is not bidding alone, but rather with an entity known as Vulcan Spectrum, LLC. Currently, Allen heads an investment company called Vulcan Capital. He’s also a majority shareholder in U.S. cable operator Charter Communications.
The FCC has accepted 96 applications and reported 170 as incomplete. The latter needs to be completed by Jan. 4. A mock auction is slated for January 22nd, with the actual one starting on January 24th and likely to take weeks to complete.
Among the list of incomplete applications were smaller mobile operators Alltel and MetroPCS Wireless Inc. Cox Communications Inc., an archrival of the telecommunications companies, is also preparing an application as is cellular technology vendor Qualcomm Inc. who is already building a mobile entertainment network on vacated TV channels. So what the heck would Chevron want with the spectrum?
Chevron, like Google, is unlikely to build a network, Gold said. “I can see them potentially winning but then becoming landlords, renting it out,” he said. For both companies, that decision wouldn’t be based on the cost of building a network but on the experience required: Neither company has any history of constructing and operating a wireless network, a complicated undertaking.