WHY IS GOOGLE MAKING THIS MOVE? WHAT DO THEY HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH? For Google, maintaining itself as a search leader as wireless Internet access grows is extremely important since this is one area with extremely high growth prospects. The mobile phone is poised to become one of the most prevalent ways to access the Internet, analysts say, raising the stakes for Google. That’s why the company is exploring ways to get its services on all such devices and why it might undertake the risky but ambitious gambit of producing its own phone. For Google to really go mobile, it needs changes in the existing marketplace, where phone companies operate systems largely closed to unapproved devices and applications. Their basic strategic objective is to make sure the wireless Internet resembles the wired Internet, right now they are very different. Google’s vision is to have mobile-phone service offered free of monthly charges to consumers willing to put up with advertising. What Google wants to accomplish is to broker advertising on mobile phones the way it has on the Web. Wireless carriers worry that Google will muscle its way into the young market and capture their wireless advertising dollars.
HOW DOES GOOGLE’S SUPPORT FOR OPEN ACCESS FIT INTO GOOGLE’S PLANS? With the requirement to allow any device or application to operate on the spectrum, however, Google could get into the mobile market without having to actually build and operate a network. If Google is successful, however, broadcast companies will have much more flexibility in creating business models that use spectrum that used to belong to them in the first place. The irony of this is stunning. Open access provides the following flexibility: •
Open applications. Consumers should be able to download software applications and content, and use services without restrictions. •
Open devices. Consumers should be able to use any type of handheld communications device and not be limited to those provided by or approved by...
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