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Apple looking to bite into FCC wireless auction

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Apple looking to bite into FCC wireless auction

Cupertino (CA) – Apple is thinking about entering the FCC wireless auction fray, according to an article by BusinessWeek.  The article says the iPhone maker could plunk as much as $9 billion dollars into buying space on the 700 MHz band.

Two unnamed sources talked to BusinessWeek that Apple was interested in the spectrum, but also added that the company was “leaning against” the purchase.  BusinessWeek believes Apple wants to build an iPhone exclusive network which would cut the company’s ties to AT&T.

The FCC is planning on selling the spectrum next January.  Auction participants must spend at least $4.6 billion dollars to enter the bidding, but a price war could make the bids rockets into the stratosphere as Google and the major telecommunications carriers enter the fight.

Television stations are mandated to go all digital by 2009 and will vacate their 700 MHz analog bands.  The spectrum has been called “beachfront” property by FCC officials.