Wireless Windfall

A new spectrum auction will ease the mobile-data crunch and help the jobless

Who says congress never gets anything done? Spurred by the need to generate new revenue, lawmakers agreed to let the U.S. government raise as much as $25 billion by auctioning off valuable wireless spectrum, promising better mobile service for tens of millions of consumers and opening up new frequencies for next-generation wi-fi networks. Mobile giants like AT&T and Verizon Wireless have been sounding increasingly ominous warnings about a coming "spectrum crunch," thanks to the rapid proliferation of data-hungry iPhones, iPads and Android-based smart phones. The new spectrum will mean faster, more reliable service for movies, video games and other bandwidth-intensive services.

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