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Ambitious telecom upstart Rama is out of the bidding for wireless spectrum

The firm, backed by investor Chamath Palihapitiya, had hoped to challenge U.S. carriers.

Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Brian Ach / Getty Images

The small firm backed by investor Chamath Palihapitiya has dropped from the Federal Communications Commission’s list of firms eligible to bid for wireless spectrum.

The auction is a significant opportunity for new and existing wireless companies to get some prime airwaves. TV broadcasters are voluntarily surrendering spectrum in exchange for some of the proceeds from the auction.

Palihapitiya announced at last year’s M1 mobile conference that the firm, Social Capital Rama Spectrum Holdings, would bid as much as $10 billion in the auction of TV spectrum. It had hopes of winning enough airwaves to launch a new carrier in the U.S.

Now it’s apparently out of the running, according to an updated list of eligible bidders moving forward in the auction.

Rama initially registered to participate in the auction but apparently opted not to move forward. Palihapitiya declined comment, saying he is bound by an FCC-imposed quiet period.

This article originally appeared on

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