While Google had said several months ago it was considering bidding for a piece of the 700MHz wireless spectrum, it was not until today that the search giant officially confirmed it will apply to participate in the FCC auction due to begin January 24.

Given Google’s ambitions in the mobile market, it will be interesting to see how the company proceeds if its bid proves successful. Google would be in a position to operate a wireless network itself or seek partners to help it build one and to potentially resell wireless services. Regardless of the path taken, the company could use the wireless spectrum as a way to push for net neutrality and to create more open competition for mobile services and devices than existing networks.

Google said its formal application to participate in the 700 MHz auction will be filed with the FCC on Monday.