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CTIA beats drum for status quo

Accuses Google of begging for government subsidy

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The CTIA, representing the US wireless industry, has responded to Google's attempts to have the 700MHz auction rules rewritten - unsurprisingly coming out in favour of maintaining the status quo.

700MHz is coming up for auction in the US next year, and Google said it was prepared to spend $4.6bn if the FCC changes the rules, forcing the winner to open their network from end to end.

Google doesn't want an incumbent (it names Verizon and AT&T in its filing) to win 700MHz. In a rare moment of modesty, Google admits to lacking the experience to run a mobile network, while the incumbents have the experience and the nationwide infrastructure to make use of 700MHz with less expense, and will therefore be prepared to bid more for the frequency.

The CTIA points out that Google is effectively begging for government subsidy to allow new entrants into the wireless market, by claiming that otherwise the current operators will win.

"Google isn't a small, struggling company that needs a government subsidy to enter the competitive wireless space, and the special conditions it and others have suggested would only take money out of the pockets of American taxpayers and stuff it into the coffers of a multi-billion dollar corporation," the organisation says

Of course, the CTIA represents those incumbents, so its point of view comes as no surprise, but it is unusual for Google to be arguing for more governmental control on how technology is applied, while the CTIA argues that the free market will resolve all. ®

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