Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is taking to the air for the next phase of its corporate evolution. The FCC has cleared the company to bid on wireless spectrum licenses in the 700MHz range, and Google has plenty of spare cash in its vaults that might just land it some prime ethereal estate.

The 700MHz band is currently used for UHF television broadcasts, but it will become available for other uses when the FCC-mandated shutdown of analog TV signals takes effect in February 2009. Google will jockey for position with more traditional communicators like AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), and EchoStar Communications (Nasdaq: DISH) for 12 regional licenses for the unencumbered 22MHz-wide section, and possibly for a nationwide 10-MHz band that would require the winner to set up and operate a public safety network, too. The government expects the bids to add up to $10 billion or more, all told.

The winners will probably set up long-range wireless Internet services in their sparkling new spectrum slice, using WiMAX or 4G communication protocols. Traditional DSL and cable modem services could lose market share to the new, mobile kid on the block -- whoever happens to run it. And you can bet your last beet that a Google-run network will steer users toward services from Mountain View. It's a part of Google's plans for world domination, online and offline, and there will be a heavy dose of marketing and advertising involved. The telecoms might not load the dice like that, but they are likely to charge more for using their bandwidth.

The Big G is getting used to the idea of wireless networking already, as regional WiMAX provider Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) announced today that its subscribers will use email, calendars, and chat clients from the Google Apps suite, starting later this year. We'll see how the auction shakes out, but don't be surprised if you see Google-branded wireless services in your own backyard soon.

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