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Google To Bid for Wireless Spectrum

Google Inc. will apply to bid for wireless spectrum in an upcoming government auction, the company said Friday.

The Federal Communications Commission is auctioning the 700 megahertz spectrum to increase bandwidth for mobile phone and Internet services.

Google covets the "C Block" of the spectrum -- which carries a reserve price of $4.6 billion -- because regulators stipulated that whoever operates it must allow their users to download any software application they want to a mobile device.

"Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today's wireless world," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a statement.

Mobile phone companies now force subscribers to use proprietary software to operate handsets on their network, but Google has indicated it plans to challenge that business model. The company announced several weeks ago that it will develop software for mobile devices.

Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless announced Tuesday it would open its network to devices other than the ones it currently supports.

Google plans to file its application to bid on Monday, which is the FCC deadline. The auction begins Jan. 24.

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