Today, bidding begins on 105 MHz of radio spectrum in the advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum auction, and 27 companies are lined up for a piece of the pie. Aside from wireless incumbents Bell, Telus and Rogers, there are the familiar faces with potential to be carriers — MTS Allstream, Videotron end company — and a handful of lesser known, or completely unknown, players spurred to bid by a provision in the auction rules that sets aside 40 MHz of that spectrum for new entrants to the market.

[For an analysis of the first two days of bidding, click here.]

We profiled many of the newcomers in a series of stories that wrapped up several weeks ago. For your reference as the auction begins, we’ve collected all the profiles within the links below. We’ve also included Howard Solomon’s wrap-up of the actual bidding process and how it works.

The Wireless Spectrum Playoffs, Round 1

The Wireless Spectrum Playoffs, Round 2

How the auction works

This ain’t Sotheby’s or eBay. Howard Solomon untangles the intricacies of the AWS spectrum auction

The Wireless Spectrum Playoffs, Round 3

The Wireless Spectrum Playoffs, Round 4

The Wireless Spectrum Playoffs, Round 5