Internet giant Google said it will not take part in the upcoming US incentive auction of 600MHz spectrum.
“Like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we’ll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate,” a Google spokeswoman told Reuters.
Some industry watchers had expected Google to join mobile operators like AT&T and Verizon in bidding for 600MHz to boost connectivity, particularly after the company launched its own MVNO service, Project Fi, in the country last April.
Project Fi claims to allow Google Nexus 6 users to seamlessly connect to the fastest wireless network available, whether it’s on WiFi or a T-Mobile US or Sprint mobile network.
The company also participated in a FCC spectrum auction in 2008, although it did not secure any spectrum.
Google joins Sprint
Google becomes the latest high profile name to rule itself out of the long-awaited spectrum auction, with number four player Sprint confirming in September it would also not be involved.
Interested parties were expected to file applications to be included by last Wednesday’s deadline, with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile US and Comcast already confirming they will take part.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has been looking to drum up interest for the auction for some time, and has earmarked the 600MHz spectrum on offer to help with the future deployment of 5G. The FCC’s last AWS-3 auction, which concluded in early 2015, raised a mammoth $44.9 billion.
Despite opting out of the auction, Google has made investments in other areas to boost its infrastructure across the US.
The company revealed a capex spend of $869 million in its full year 2015 results, earlier this month, with a large majority being spent on its fibre business.
The upcoming US auction is set to kick off on 29 March.