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A 5G sign at a Verizon company booth during a 2018 telecoms industry conference in Los Angeles. Photo by Bloomberg.

Google in Middle of Fight Over 5G Spectrum

By  |  Feb. 14, 2019 10:16 AM PST
Photo: A 5G sign at a Verizon company booth during a 2018 telecoms industry conference in Los Angeles. Photo by Bloomberg.

A proposal by four satellite operators to sell wireless spectrum critical for new 5G technologies has run into opposition from Google and cable companies such as Charter Communications. The opponents complain the plan would let the satellite firms sell the spectrum privately, thereby allowing them to shape the competitive landscape for next generation wireless services.  

Instead, Google and the cable operators want the Federal Communications Commission to sell the spectrum, valued at $15 billion or more. That could broaden the field of bidders and reduce the chance that one company ends up with all of the spectrum. The dispute, which is likely to end up in court, highlights a race among a broad range of media and tech companies to play a role in development of 5G wireless technology. 5G is expected to be used for the internet of things, self-driving cars as well as for wireless video and broadband as an alternative to cable service.

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