Apple Considering Participating in FCC Wireless Auction?

Businessweek reports that Apple has studied the implications of joining the FCC Wireless auction to be held on January 16th.

The winners will get rights to use the spectrum that analog TV broadcasters are handing back to the government in 2009, given their mandated move to digital television.
....
Signals at the 700Mhz spectrum, for example, could provide far faster Internet access than today's cellular or even Wi-Fi networks, and the signals can easily pass through buildings and work glitch-free, even in lousy weather.

According to their sources, however, Apple is currently "leaning against participating" in the auction. With $14 billion in cash reserves, while Apple could easily afford participating in the auction, the logistics of running a "low-margin .... massive-scale network" could prove to be detrimental to Apple. This negative impact on Apple's margins and focus are seen as major reasons for Apple's reluctance to participate.

Winning its own piece of the spectrum, however, would provide Apple with the ability to offer its own wireless network service to devices such as the iPhone.

"Apple is the most anti-carrier company there is," says the former Apple executive. "They're probably already frustrated with AT&T. If they put a few billion behind this, they could build a kick-ass network."

The article goes on to the possible implications of such a purchase, but feels it is quite unlikely.

Google has been expected to make a bid on the wireless auction.

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