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Why Google Doesn't Need To Win the Bid To Win In January 96

Posted by Zonk
from the a-meta-win dept.
explosivejared writes "TheStreet discusses Google's possible strategy options in the bid for the 700 mhz spectrum. The end goal of getting the government to put an open access stipulation on the spectrum, Google's end goal, is almost a given — in the author's opinion. At this point, he says, Google hardly even needs to win to 'win.' From the article: 'Rather than actually winning the auction, Google's participation is likely intended to secure what it sees as the real reward: ensuring that whoever ends up owning the spectrum allows the open access of applications and devices. Indeed, as long as this goal is met, it's hard to see why Google would want to take on the costly task of building and running its own network. But given how much is at stake when it comes to the mobile market, Google's vigilance is shrewd, even if it never planned to own the spectrum.'"
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Why Google Doesn't Need To Win the Bid To Win In January

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  • do they still win? The FCC set the minimum bid so high, anyone who bids, loses.
    • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan,jared&gmail,com> on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:36PM (#21614519)
      You're kidding right? Google prepared a $4.6 billion bid [timesonline.co.uk] themselves which just happens to be the benchmark the FCC used as the reserve price. Your crazy if you don't think that AT&T and Verizon are going to fight this tooth and nail. Android is coming and they know it. They have to hold on to the networks themselves or be cut out. No matter how much building an open standards network benefits Google, AT&T and Verizon realize network infrastructure is what's going to make them players in the new game.
      • by scubamage (727538) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:45PM (#21614639)
        Thats what I love about this whole situation - google has MASSIVE resources to throw at this. If they do get outbid, whoever does so will have to do it with a massive pricetag. Also, google doesn't have the constraints of having to maintain a current telecom network, which all of the other bidders do. The other bidders can't go "all in" because they have too damn much to lose, where google really does not. I believe, just like most of the other posters, that AT&T, Verizon, and the rest all are realizing that they're going to lose the bidding war - hence the sudden 'open network' craze.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Alzheimers (467217)
          Umm, no -- overpaying for public resources is BAD.

          -Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds?
          -Just where do you think the telco's going to get the money, anyway?

          Google, at least, will bill their advertisers. That's who their real customer is.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by heinousjay (683506)
            Clearly, you are an economic genius. These advertisers must have the secret to an inexhaustible fund of money they don't need to get from anyone else. Brilliant.
          • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan,jared&gmail,com> on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:21PM (#21615171)
            Define overpay. If it means AT&T or Verizon stay in business and remain profitable because of the spectrum, then its really hard to overpay for ones lifeblood. Here it says [wikipedia.org] that spectrum auctions are deposited straight to the US Treasury, so it's just like revenue from taxes. I happen to like the situation. Competition is forced, the treasury gets a boost, and we all benefit.
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by zehaeva (1136559)
              Compared to the Trillions that our government spends I think that this is not as large of a "boost" as one would think it would be.
              • Compared to the Trillions that our government spends I think that this is not as large of a "boost" as one would think it would be.
                Yeah, so they might as well not even deposit it at all and just dump it out in the street or something. Or give it to me. After all, it's really not that much compared to some other stuff.
                • by zehaeva (1136559)
                  I did not mean to imply that such money would be unwelcome in the US government, only that compared to the amount of money needed to fund the government that the profits for the auction are pretty tiny, Isn't the budget for NASA something like 16billion/year, so using that number that I just pulled out of my ass (I am too lazy to go and look up what their exact funding is) and knowing that the NASA budget is something like half of a percent of the US budget the money made from this auction is not something
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Red Flayer (890720)

            -Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds?
            Anything that will lessen the massive debt-load we're building is OK by me.

            Of course, it'll be used to justify a massively increased annual FCC budget which we'll still be paying 20 years down the road...

            If the revenue from this sale were earmarked to subsidizing FTTC, it would make me happy.
            • Any payments made to "own" the 700 Mhz spectrum are a TAX on innovation, and essentially force the "winner" to operate strictly in greed mode to pay off the TAX. Spectrum auctions sound good, until you consider the long term consequences. The payment made has to come from somewhere, and the Telcos will be very glad to take their cut along the way.

              I think it would be far better to open the spectrum up to anyone who wants to build a wireless mesh network open to all. The Telcos could charge for connecting t

          • Q: Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds?
            A: Yes (FCC/Congress), the tax refund is very important to maintaining the
              _ USA wealth status quo of Corporate-welfare stud servicing (as the farmer
              _ would say) the public real good.

            What was good for the public in the 1960s ... to 20?? will be the same always.

            Folks need to accept ....
            • Q: Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds? A: Yes (FCC/Congress), the tax refund is very important to maintaining the _ USA wealth status quo of Corporate-welfare stud servicing (as the farmer _ would say) the public real good. What was good for the public in the 1960s ... to 20?? will be the same always. Folks need to accept ....
              Huh?
              • by OldHawk777 (19923) *
                Exactly, as you said, very well stated and politically correct.

                I was reminded of the same famous quote by the great flaming bush POTUS ... "Huh?"

                The Question was a previous post: "Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds?"

                Yes, I am always highly confused/surprised ... maybe sad/dismayed when speaking kindly of the great and infamous POTUS.

                !HAVEFUN!
              • Huh?

                God Damn!!!! "Huh" is putting it mildly

                a hahaa hahah, no kidding!.... That_might have_be_en,,,, the worst syntax and punctuation____f_ck_up, yet scene..(.hereabouts. I got )a feeling a CT scan of that dude's brain might reveal actual physical proof of dyslexia wrapped inside of some sort of House of Mirrors___ shit_uation. On the bright side,

                Folks,

                the Shitty Sentence Contest is Over!!!! We Have a Winner!!!!!

                Congratulations, (Wandering)Point Underscore_Dude!!!

  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:28PM (#21614415) Homepage Journal
    Google has become self aware. In one month it will initiate a massive nuclear attack on its enemy?
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:35PM (#21614507) Homepage
      Fortunately we were smart enough not to let Google hook directly into our defense networks, so no nuclear attack.

      Google will instead attack in the only way it can -- by making the top 1000 results for every search point to goatse.cx. Trust me when I say you do NOT want to click "I'm feeling lucky!" come January...
      • They're into the satellite networks, and they doctor, blur or remove photos by request from multiple governments and militaries. So, assuming they keep some of their cards close to their chest, they have the opportunity to know more about where to look for interesting military targets than any single government does, because they're the ones that are being sent the censor lists.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by maeka (518272)

          They're into the satellite networks

          No, they buy commercially available satellite (or more often (in urban areas) airplane) photography on the open market. You can too if you are willing to cough up the cash.
      • Are you sure? The Department of Defense uses Google Search Appliances to sort through the millions of "Top Secret" documents acquired over the years. To think that Google doesn't have backdoors is the same as saying that myspace is free of pedophiles.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      NBC IS REFUSING TO RUN PRO-TROOPS ADS [powerlineblog.com] from Freedom's Watch, but you can see them at the link.

      They told me that if George W. Bush were reelected we'd see a sort of soft fascism in which corporate media would freeze out views that were politically uncongenial. And they were right!

      The ads are surprisingly benign and (one would think) non-controversial. They literally say "Thank You" to the troops and "Happy Holidays". Neither ad takes a pro- or anti-war stance, merely a "support the troops" position. Which is
      • by DECS (891519)
        "Support the troops" is such a strong message. It's too bad the government/media is repressing it, because in a world of censorship, we aren't exposed to information.

        And "Support the troops" conveys such vital information the uninformed populace needs. Oh, the humanity.

        How can we get the word out the troops need support? Perhaps we could tie it into a message that points out the unsupported troops were sent into a sovereign nation with a deliberately false pretext of military urgency, then prevented from do
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by dhavleak (912889)

          Agreed.

          I'm going to go to hell for saying this but... I actually do have a problem with that message.

          Don't get me wrong - I am grateful to our troops. They pay the price for the freedom we enjoy. I have no illusions there, and I'm grateful.

          But in the present day, our leaders have sent them to fight a war that is of our making, and was not our business to get involved in. I don't have a problem with thanking the troops. I have a huge problem with the implied endorsement that message has, that we are in

  • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan,jared&gmail,com> on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:29PM (#21614441)
    It probably doesn't help that assertion that I have two articles on the home page that highlight potential success for the company, but I still realize that they are a company designed to make a profit.

    As for the article, I agree that is one of the shrewdest business moves I've seen (that wasn't underhanded, repressive, bookcooking, etc.). They're getting essentially who will be their competition with Android to fund the infrastructure on which Android will make money. All the while the consumer is starting to benefit like crazy from the atmosphere of competition.

    It's times like these that almost make you want see some good in the world. Yeah, but then another wiki scandal or RIAA atrocity will pop up on the firehose to dampen then mood. :(
    • It would be nice if the networks built effective networks as opposed to trying to become the next Microsoft by controlling all associated markets. Likewise, it would be nice if Google, and other companies, focused on building usable network protocols and tools. It is damn annoying to experience the state of the networks in the US.

      But barring pragmatism, somebody disrupting the market by implementing WiMax in major cities would be great.
    • There's always more positive than negative stuff, in the long run.  Or we wouldn't have this comfy civilization and internet to complain on. :-)
  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rumith (983060) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:31PM (#21614463)
    Google has already won. It is no mere coincidence that Verizon and AT&T are opening up their networks [while Sprint participates in the OpenHandset Alliance]. The weak are dragged by their destiny, the strong follow their destiny, and the wise become destiny themselves. Good job Google!
    • Lol .. if by AT&T you mean cause they use GSM then its not really opening up. At most, it was already open, as anyone who ever used GSM. Anything SIM based is open.Take the sim, and put it in a phone capable of sims, like any nokia I ever heard of.
    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zappepcs (820751) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:52PM (#21614727) Journal
      I am inclined to believe that you are right. But there is another clear winner here. Google supports the F/OSS paradigm in ways that are not overtly apparent. By mild manipulation of the marketplace for the benefit of the Google platform, they have begun the destruction of all that came before. There is NO carrier or phone manufacturer that is currently prepared to deal with F/OSS competitors. I repeat; There is NO carrier or phone manufacturer that is prepared to compete with F/OSS competitors. This will have far reaching implications across the telecommunications industry.
      1 - Open handsets means no more lock-in (revenue loss for carriers) and handsets become cheaper.

      2 - No lock-in reduces wireless carriers to common carrier status, effectively, allowing for wider provision of wireless data services... AND .... advertising based services.

      3 - Carriers will be looking to replace lost revenues as airtime is further comoditized. This may come as a form of wireless broadband access, driving carriers further into the digital networks services arena. Read this as getting the new Razor 3000ip Yahoo! service from Verizon, or perhaps the NoDRM Earthlink Freedom plan with a Nokia handset from AT&T. Or even the 12Gauge ESPN Sports plan from Sprint, with free ESPN handset.

      4 - Enhanced choices will instigate further A&M in telecommunications as they fight to get customers on the quadracular or pentacular service plans. The entire thing based on selling ad clients air time on your cell, home phone, television, radio, home entertainment, fridge, car entertainment, and perhaps even your dogs remote finger collar service. While Verizon has a head start with tons of bandwidth to the house to provision all those services, the others are soon to follow. For more information on this, find stories in the way back machine about dark fiber being bought up.

      5 - If legislation in North America allows joe bloggs to build and sell handsets, the number of wireless applications could possibly explode, but that greatly depends on UI and functionality. Not something that current clamshell handsets are very good at.

      Either way, it looks like the real winner will be the consumer... Thank you Google
      • Re:Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hoggoth (414195) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:15PM (#21615079) Journal
        Two comments:

        1. When every service and product on Earth is given away for free to support advertising, I wonder what will be left to advertise...

        2. Mr. Albert Einstein, when practicing ancient science, disagrees with your sig.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by myvirtualid (851756)

          Mr. Albert Einstein, when practicing ancient science, disagrees with your sig.

          Mr. Garry Wallace, aka Anthony Michael Hall, also disagrees, at least when practicing weird science.

          At least that's how we weigh in in my neighbourhood.

          Hmm, Kelly LeBrock....

        • by suggsjc (726146)
          Well, then you have to advertise the advertisers, meaning the advertisers will pay for their advertisements with advertisements and the advertisers advertisers will actually be pushing services which are no doubt also paid for via advertisements. However, some advertisers advertisers will go out on a limb and try to come up with an ad based business model that doesn't involve ads, which at that point in time the universe will implode. Since the last dot-com bubble "burst" we are going to have to come up w
        • by Bert64 (520050)
          There will always be people and businesses who will pay for a premium service instead of a free ad supported service...
          Your never gonna get a decent SLA with an ad supported services, if your paying you can expect and demand a higher class of service and better support.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by clem (5683)

        s/([^c])ei/$1ie/g; ... PGN
        My weird neighbor, Keith, would often deign to weigh-in in a similar vein. But when humans forfeit their reign on matters grammatical, will their feisty reinventions, their foreign automations, seize the veiled aspects of spelling?
      • 1 - Open handsets means no more lock-in (revenue loss for carriers) and handsets become cheaper.
        No it doesn't. Open handsets means I can take my device to another carrier, but in order to get service with that carrier, I need to sign a contract for TWO YEARS! I fail to see how there is no lock-in.
        • by Dan Ost (415913)
          Go month-to-month or simply purchase a preset amount of minutes. No need to make a 2 year commitment.
      • I wonder if what google fears, long-term, is a scenario like the one alluded to in John Walker's "Digital Imprimatur", combined with a non-neutral net.

        http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/digital-imprimatur/ [fourmilab.ch]

        A scenario whereby Verizon, Comcast, AT & T, et. al. have a shakedown-type operation, if you don't want your customers delayed getting to google, pay extra. The cartel of ISPs collude (or, if no collusion/conspiracy, they all just come to the same conclusion as to what strategy they should pursue) to bu
    • It's not every day a Unix sig makes me laugh out loud. Thanks. =p
    • by riceboy50 (631755)
      AT&T is just doing the "me too" thing for the technologically challenged, even though their network has always been open ever since the move to GSM.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      >The weak are dragged by their destiny, the strong follow their destiny, and the wise become destiny themselves.

      Oh, you got that fortune cookie too?
    • by Dash Hash (955484)
      And the insane keep the wise looking over their shoulders.

      It only takes one company willing to stick their neck out to throw a massive wrench in the best of plans.

      Of course, I don't seen any of the current potential bidders taking many, if any, risks with this, but there are other companies out there who might be willing to risk a bid, if only to to cause chaos and confusion.
  • He said the exact same thing. However, the final agreement seems to have made the open access requirements significantly less open, so that may be why Google is getting more serious about it.

  • If they have their own network, they have the last mile. They would have the means and funds to become a 3rd tier 1 provider. Only they'd be the tier 1 provider with access to every home in the country. They could dictate net neutrality at that point.
    • by techpawn (969834)

      They could dictate net neutrality at that point.
      For OR against. Yes, they say "do no evil" but they are a business and have shareholders they will have to one day answer to. To blindly trust a company, even Google, is just silly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by scubamage (727538)
      Exactly. Google's biggest concern with net neutrality is that they'd have to pay for their service to keep running at the volume that it does. So, they're trying to go the way of the old world millionaires - buying up every single resource needed to deliver their product (or service) from cradle to the grave. They aren't going to charge themselves a premium if people use their spectrum to deliver their own service - they don't have to. Its just like when early American capitalists bought up not only the oil
    • They would have the means and funds to become a 3rd tier 1 provider.

      Wikipedia says that there are already nine [wikipedia.org]tier 1 providers. So you must mean something else.
      • by superwiz (655733)
        I am too used to thinking of Global Crossing and Level 3 as the tier 1. The others are telephone companies. I guess you can count Qwest as backbone first and long-distance carrier second, but I think they have the least contact with retail (as in consumer market) internet access -- they are more of a b2b provider. Ok, I know this is not precise, but I am pretty sure Global Crossing and Level 3 is where your traffic will end up if small to medium business providing services to most of the end-user Interne
  • by TheDarkener (198348) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:49PM (#21614691)
    You have to admit that, compared to pretty much all other billion dollar corporations out there, Google is one of the most true to Slashdot's ideals (keep everything open).

    You can complain about their purchase of YouTube, their ads in the sidebar for google.com, GMail's vulnerabilities, trying to capitalize on a wireless spectrum auction, etc. etc. etc...

    I haven't found one thing yet to make me want to *truly* hate Google. The fact is, yes - they *are* a for-profit company. BUT, that doesn't mean they are evil. Everyone has to make money, and making a sh*tload of money isn't so bad if you think about it, either. You just have to keep your morals and business ethics in check while you do so.

    AFAIK, Google has done that thus far. Nobody pays to upload to YT, text-ads in google.com are completely unintrusive by design, all manmade software has vulnerabilities at one point or another, and...well I sure would love to make a lot of money, too. Doesn't mean you have to sell your soul to do it.
    • by rucs_hack (784150) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:07PM (#21614951)
      You can complain about their purchase of YouTube, their ads in the sidebar for google.com, GMail's vulnerabilities, trying to capitalize on a wireless spectrum auction, etc. etc. etc...

      Why thankyou, gracious sir..

      I haven't found one thing yet to make me want to *truly* hate Google

      I find it disturbing that so many define their relationship with companies in the IT world in terms of hatred (whether lack of or intensity of). Ever really hated? I have, its something of an extreme potition that does not, as a rule, provide comfort in the long term. The most I could ever feel towards an IT company is irritation, and my most extreme reaction would be abandonment of their product. I wouldn't waste the effort to go beyond that.

      The fact is, yes - they *are* a for-profit company. BUT, that doesn't mean they are evil

      There you go again. Evil? Define it, go on. Does *not* being for profit make you automatically good? (which you infer by your feeling the need to defend it) I has a doubt on that count. Unpleasant behaviour is more often inspired by status and power than money. You can get status or power by working in a charity shop or volunteering at a hospital.

      Everyone has to make money, and making a sh*tload of money isn't so bad if you think about it, either

      A meaningless statement. The mix of barstards and nice people among those I know is pretty much independant of fiscal status. Getting rich won't make you bad, nor will being poor. Wanting to be rich and acheiving it, while likely to inspire envy and adverse comment, is not as likely to change fundamental character traits as people think.

      You just have to keep your morals and business ethics in check while you do so.

      Do you? Sounds great, but lets be honest, to succeed you need to be a bit evil. Nice people get bulldozed aside. OK I don't mean it's ok to be a complete asshole, but predatory tendancies are an essential trait for success, or you'll never make it, even if all you do with it is defend yourself from the people who'll take what you have given half a chance. I have a friend who is a great bloke, nice to his customers, and going places. He's got a certain predatory side to him though, it's easy to spot, but you wouldn't want to cross him in business.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rhakka (224319)
        It's only true that you have to be "predatory" if you do not have a service or product of true value to capitalize on, or if you do not know how to capitalize on said product or service. If you actually have value on your side, you just have inform people, you don't have to bamboozle them.

        Note that "nice" does not mean "naive", or "trusting". It just means honestly wanting to do what's best for everyone, not just yourself. And it is not only possible to do that in business, I would argue it is ultimately
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AeroIllini (726211)

        Sounds great, but lets be honest, to succeed you need to be a bit evil. Nice people get bulldozed aside. OK I don't mean it's ok to be a complete asshole, but predatory tendancies are an essential trait for success, or you'll never make it, even if all you do with it is defend yourself from the people who'll take what you have given half a chance.
        There is a large difference between predation and ambition.

        You do not have to destroy your opponents to succeed.
      • by Blackhalo (572408)
        "I find it disturbing that so many define their relationship with companies in the IT world in terms of hatred (whether lack of or intensity of)." Come on. Don't fuck it up does not mean anything?
    • by Lifyre (960576)
      I agree completely. Google has done a very good job of not being evil. However many people see their ubiquitous presence and immediately go OH SHIT! Stop them! Granted there is precedent in the software industry to suggest that this is the appropriate course of action but by and large Google has not given us reason to. I like Google, I use them over Yahoo because I feel I get better results with Google and I like my homepage on Google better. By extension I use gmail as my personal email. Would I use Gmail
    • by Sleepy (4551)
      All of the above, with economy of words:

      Google is not Monsanto. :-)
    • by rtechie (244489)

      I haven't found one thing yet to make me want to *truly* hate Google.

      The Google business model is to gather as much information as possible about people on the Internet and then sell it to marketing companies and governments. Google has given information on individuals (normally dissidents) to totalitarian governments, who then used that information to imprison and kill them.

      Basically, Google is a massive advertising company whose job it is to help other people sell you shit by telling them personal information about you. I don't really see why I should *LIKE* such an outfi

      • The Google business model is to gather as much information as possible about people on the Internet and then sell it to marketing companies and governments

        I'd like to see proof of this...
  • Why not bid to win? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theoddball (665938) <theoddball@gmaBALDWINil.com minus author> on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:52PM (#21614729)

    A lot of analysts are certain Google's not bidding to win, just to make sure they hit the reserve price and ensure openness provisions kick in. Everybody's sure Google doesn't want to be a network operator.

    And they may well be right on that count -- but who says they don't want to be a network *architect*? Google has, as TFA points out, $13b in cash. They could easily afford the final sticker price on the licenses, then lease the spectrum to players who have to play on *precisely* their terms (which probably entails not just open access, but a dumb pipe -- just providing bandwidth, instead of mobile phone service.) That pushes the buildout cost away from GOOG, but still might allow for a hellacious ROI.

    I can't take credit for these insights/speculations myself -- check out Harold Feld's take [wetmachine.com] and a great deal more detail.

    • Thanks for that link, interesting blog. I still don't see why we're auctioning off this spectrum and hoping that the winner will do the right thing, when the FCC could KEEP the spectrum, LEASE it to the network providers, and MANDATE that they keep it open. I guess I should be grateful they didn't just hand it to Haliburton for Xmas.
      • Govenment needs the money. Tax-and-spend Democrats and Borrow-and-spend Republicans and united with a President who does not include cost of a damned war in the regular budget. Why would they do anything that benefits the citizens in the long run? Sell whatever they can to the highest bidder and then they will make election promises, "If you elect me I will rein in the out-of-control Washington and make those damned corporations pay dearly..."
        • by dogs4ar (1072988)
          Yeah, it's a pretty messed up situation. I was reminded of this [americanprogress.org] article a while back when wondering why the FCC insists on auctioning off spectrum, rather than keeping it, forcing some rules onto spectrum users, and licensing retailers/end-users.

          I agree with the Feld/MAP analysis: Google will build the architecture, then get a bunch of also-rans to actually sell the service on to end-users. This situation is analogous to the previous ISP golden age, back when the power of AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe w
    • That has been my own personal speculation as well:

      1] These are practically a license to print money. Buy the spectrum, then license it out to third parties, and make money without a costly network build-out or much of any other activity, really.
      2] Use the frequencies as leverage to get the people you license (for $$$) to use it to play ball on your terms.

      The question I'm wondering is...

      What would it cost if you wanted a good chance at winning ALL of the spectrum? And how many years would it take to break ev
      • Or another strategy...

        Bid and win enough licenses to prevent the other players from being able to assemble a national network, without dealing with Google for the missing pieces. At which point they can negotiate their terms. Could be a play for long-term influence over the cellular industry in the US. Which would totally play into Google's long term strategy, since they are planning to push mobile specific services, advertising, etc.
  • It's annoying to click on a link and have a print dialog pop up. Link to the regular page, please.
  • Instead of creating another cell phone service, couldn't they create a general purpose band for hobbyists like the 2.4Ghz band? It could be reserved for UAV's, personal ultra wide band networks, or hobbyists. There are lots of possibilities besides cell phones.

    • This may be offtopic but, about 2.4 Ghz, does anybody else think it's kinda...peculiar to use the same frequency which microwave ovens use to cook :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:07PM (#21614961)
    I believe net neutrality may be a key factor in Google's willingness to become a network provider. If the traditional telcos start putzing with the packets, placing artificial barriers on the flow of data, then the only way to break the barriers is to either enact legislation, or by-pass the networks having the barriers.

    If memory serves me, wasn't Google buying up gobs and gobs of dark fiber networks? If this is the case, then couldn't they light the fiber, using it as a backbone, and use the wireless spectrum for the endpoints - creating a massive Googlenet?

    Now, add the much talked about gPhone and Google's demonstrated desire to offer free WiFi and you have a very enticing way to attract customers - which is really what Google wants...more eyes on more advertisements.

    Either way, it is a win-win-win situation for Google.
  • I see other uses for this bandwidth than traditional cell phones.
    Navigation and search go hand and hand.
    I see this being more for search and teaming up with the car makers. Forget DVD updates and all that mess. Not only that but it could monitor where you drive at all times. Not for spying "But but it could be used for that" but for routing.
    By seeing how local people get from point a to point b Google can find the optimum routes. Then you add in real time traffic monitoring based on vehicle speed an locatio
    • by Torvaun (1040898)
      Google TV will be online, and it already started when they bought YouTube.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LWATCDR (28044)
        It only works well if you have broadband.
        Imagine a device like AppleTV that uses this spectrum to provide a WiMax like connection. As a bonus you can get broadband.
        • by Torvaun (1040898)
          Google's got plenty of fiber, and this spectrum could easily be pushed into service serving streaming video. This is actually starting to look like Google is planning to use the spectrum instead of just leasing it for gigabucks.
  • Everyone is so focused on Google spectrum chatter they forget that the minimum but of 4.6 billion is not an astronomical sum with respect to current corporate conditions. You don't go to an auction and blab about what your willing to pay for the item of interest - all your competitors now have some critical information on what you are willing to pay. Who may be lurking in the shadows that could also purchase the spectrum space? Let the conspiracies start: Microsoft, GE, Exxon-Mobile, Apple, Hedge Fund c
  • Google owns a lot of fiber WANs, a telco operations system, and all kinds of content positioned to deliver a modern version of an "open AOL" that incorporates the entire Internet's content, to compete with AOL, MSN, Verizon, AT&T, the cablecos, and now finally the "last mile" of wireless/mobile. They're going to own spectrum, as surely as they own the other infrastructure they could be outsourcing with effectively the same content/transaction/community model. They have proven in all those other holdings
  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Friday December 07, 2007 @03:53PM (#21616437)
    People forget the advantage of the 700mhz spectrum. It provides close to a 30 mile range, whereas cellular towers in the other parts of the spectrum top out at a few miles. If Google takes all their dark fiber, light it up and build towers, or better yet hook into the current TV transmision towers the capital expense will be 1/4 what it takes to build out a cellular network, simply because they will need 1/4 the towers. Set a price of $30 a month for unlimited access (VOIP and data) and they will absolutely kill verizion, att, comcast and every other internet and phone provider. Not only that but they would probably make a fortune on the investment. All these articles about Google NOT bidding is simply stock analysts trying to convince the market that Google won't enter the market and that the incumbent providers are still a good investment.

    Frankly I think they will bid, and it will be a very serious bid meant on winning. And after they win and build the network out no other provider will be able to go against network neutrality as if they do Google will run ads about switching to Google Internet for unrestricted internet. Not only that but they will likely drive the price of mobile internet down such that everyone can afford it, something they VERY much want (think google maps and search for local businesses, competition against the local yellow pages). Think about cheap unlimited mobile Internet that just happens to be google based and serves advertisements based on where you are. Imagine driving by a store and having your phone pop up and advertisement (to that store) for a product you were searching for on the Internet earlier along with a map of the store to show you where it is in the store and how much it costs.

    I think it would be crazy for them NOT to make a serious bid and win.
    • by Rich0 (548339)
      The only issue with that plan is that while in theory you can get the coverage with 1/4th the towers you might not be able to get the capcity.

      In many areas existing cell phone providers have to put in more towers than needed for coverage just so that they can run everything at reduced power and get less interference.

      If you have 22MHz in bandwidth, and split it up among 1000 users, now each have 22KHz of bandwidth - which is probably marginal for voice (I am not an expert). If you have 100,000 users each wo
  • by funkman (13736) on Friday December 07, 2007 @04:05PM (#21616625)
    TFA says "Owning and operating a network, on the other hand, could make for a costly and distracting scenario."

    Because if there is one thing Google doesn't know how to do, its build networks with lots of computers and network them together.
  • by kurtis25 (909650)
    I don't see Google building a network. I see them driving up the price a bit to force another company into a difficult financial situation then making them an offer to make the service Good. Since the other company will be financial strained they will be forced to take Google's offer. Just like my website isn't hosted at Google but I use Google tools to make it good. My phone won't be hosted at Google, ATT will just be forced to use Google tools to make it good. Meanwhile ATT gets my monthly check and Googl
  • by mvea (158406) on Friday December 07, 2007 @04:33PM (#21617019) Homepage
    ... a writer at OmniNerd put together a good article on Auction 73 [omninerd.com] outlining why the FCC is auctioning the 700Mhz spectrum as well as how they're doing it in a competitive and fair fashion. He even walks a fictitious company through the auction process to detail what is involved for bidders.
  • It sure would be nice if Google were to win something .007Mhz or something. They could parlay that into SOMETHING. I'll be dammed if they do not launch their own cell network or the like. Please got let Google kill Sprint Verizon AT&T or something. Those providers suck.

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