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FCC ACCEPTS 27 WCS AUCTION APPS; SOFTWARE FIRMS MISSING?

WASHINGTON-The Federal Communications Commission accepted 27 applications for participation in its Wireless Communications Services auction of 128 licenses, scheduled to begin April 15; 16 other applications have been returned for correction, and they are due no later than April 4. Also due April 4 are upfront payments, which are submittable only by wire transfer this time. Sufficient finances will be even more important in this auction because all winning bids are due to the Treasury in cash by the end of September; no installment payments will be allowed.

According to the FCC’s public notice released March 27, there will be no minimum opening bid for WCS licenses. The formula for minimum bid increments for each license will be released sometime this week.

Many of the applicants have participated in auctions before, mostly in the personal communications services arena. Rural telcos, regional holding companies and wireless cable operators also made the cut. What seems unusual is the absence of major software players like Microsoft, which was active in the comment cycle prior to the adoption of WCS auction rules; they could, however, be participating under other names, which will become known once all Form 175s can be scrutinized.

The following applicants have applied for all licenses: BTA Ventures II Inc.; Bal/Rivgam L.L.C.; CFW Communications Company; Cellutec; Coloma Wireless Inc.; Digivox Telecom Inc.; Hamilton Telephone Company; Integrated WCS Partners; Northcoast Holdings Co., Inc.; Pacific Triangle Communications; Pioneer Telephone Association Inc.; Shell Offshore Services Company; SprintCom Inc.; Telecorp Management Corp. Inc.; and Western PCS BTA I Corp.

Applicants accepted to bid on selected markets include: BellSouth Wireless Cable Inc.; Digital Satellite Broadcasting Corp.; Epcom Ltd.; IWL Communications Inc.; McLeod Inc.; PCSCO Partnership; Pacific Telesis Enterprises; Primosphere Limited Partnership; Rig Telephones Inc. dba Datacom; Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems Inc.; Southwestern Bell Wireless Inc.; and Valley Telephone Cooperative Inc.

Incomplete applications returned due to invalid attachments include: A & B Company; Alaskan Choice Television L.L.C.; Bachow/Coastal LLC; CS Wireless Systems Inc.; Cincinnati Bell Telecommunication Service; Comcast WCS Communications Inc.; Howlin’ Wolf WCS Inc.; Jeremy Lansman; Metricom Inc.; Omnipoint Data Company Inc.; Pacific Triangle Communications (submitted duplicate applications; one will be withdrawn); Superior Communications Corp.; Tel/Logic Inc.; Telesolutions Ltd.; Triad Cellular Corp.; and Wisconsin Electric Power Company.

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