Frontline Wireless, the firm that wanted to build an innovative cellular network for both private use and local public safety agencies, has collapsed because it could not raise enough money to bid in the government auctions of wireless spectrum that start later this month.
The “New York Times” reported that the company’s failure raises questions about the ability of the auctions to raise the $14 billion or more that the federal government wants in exchange for the broadcast spectrum that will be freed next year.
Last month, Frontline filed an application to participate in the auction. But it was not able to make the required deposit of $128 million that was due last Thursday.
Frontline was started by Reed E. Hundt, a former FCC chairman, along with veteran wireless executives and a group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Despite its connections, and a year spent lobbying to create a range of frequencies intended specifically for a combination of private service and public safety communications, Frontline failed in negotiations in recent weeks to find the financial backing it needed.