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Apple and Google Are Telecom's Newest Stars 35

In looking back at 2007, CNet views the smash entrance of Google and Apple onto the telecom stage as a major formative factor for 2008's tech scene. Google in particular is going to be a huge factor in the much-anticipated wireless auction. "Google was instrumental in getting the FCC to adopt auction rules that would ultimately give consumers more choice in the devices they use on these new networks. And in November, Google CEO Eric Schmidt committed the company to bidding in the auction, promising to spend at least $4.6 billion on licenses. Exactly what Google plans to do with the spectrum if it wins licenses is still unknown. But its participation raises the stakes, especially for traditional telephony players."
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Apple and Google Are Telecom's Newest Stars

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  • the bluff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @11:35AM (#21814784)
    With the entrenched backbone providers in the US not wanting to go with non-biased access to their networks, Google just pulled one of the biggest bluffs in telecom history. If they do win, then they control a massive portion of the spectrum that could be used for a national network. On the other hand, if they lose, they have to rules changed to favor consumers and suddenly have been a legit threat in the wireless space. What happens when Google activates all the dark fiber they've been buying up? Suddenly, the telecom industry doesn't look so happy after all.
    • Well I think that this would be a good thing on insights in this world, to give us a change to talk and help keep the peoples in good standing. Your can share a lot with peoples who have good insight.
  • Unknown but better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @11:45AM (#21814846)
    While it's unclear what it is that Google would like to do with the spectrum, what IS clear, is that it's likely to be advantageous to the consumer. Why, you ask? Because under the current system, a state-sanctioned oligopoly of companies have instituted a system of high prices and low quality of service, that is probably unsurpassed in any other industrialized nation. They have built their closed networks taxpayer subsidies, and are now in a position where they have repeatedly refused to upgrade their infrastructure or invest in any real upgrades, and would rather sit on their pile of gold and slowly reduce the quality of service as their customer base and demands expand. It's short-sighted, and harmful to virtually everyone. Entry of a new player will give the market a long-needed shakeup.
  • for google to do would be wifi internet and cellphone technology, not much else you can do with it unless they want to use some of it for inhouse two way radio, but two way radio would have no payoff so wifi & cellphone would make it worthwhile...
  • by B5_geek ( 638928 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @12:35PM (#21815104)
    This is what we know about Google so far.
    -bought lots of dark-fiber (is it still dark?)
    -have portable data centers (you can disprove this with facts all you want, but I think they got the idea from Die Hard4)
    -want to buy an extremely usefull chunk of the radio spectrum (that can handle high-bandwidth data)

    Looks like a game of chess to me. All pawns are in place, just waiting for the Queen.

  • by bennini ( 800479 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @01:09PM (#21815324) Homepage
    google is going to attack the telecom industry much like it has successfully wrestled away power from all the other sectors it has targetted. and it will probably use the same strategy.

    internet search used to be dominated by yahoo, microsoft and aol. google stepped in to offer a better, faster, simpler and cleaner solution.

    email used to be dominated by yahoo and hotmail. google stepped in to offer massive amounts of storage space, aesthetics and ease-of-use.

    access to global imaging was essentially non-existant for the typical person. google stepped in and brought google maps/earth with street level routing and images, and made it fun.

    google's latest release in the mobile operating system market displays their plan to undermine Microsoft's existing Windows Mobile while MS sits on its butt not innovating. Sun/Java's new mobile platform has had no advertising, and the rest of the market is too busy competing between nokia/symbian, ericsson and the rest (i.e. motorola, etc). google's strategy, once again, involves bringing a new, better product to market and providing massive incentives to use it (in this case, being free and open).

    their plans for the wireless spectrum can't be much different. a fiber backbone with wireless internet cloaking major cities, additional infrastructure for their mobile phone system which may eventually branch out to include massively subsidized Google-branded phones and internet devices....with the aspirations to entirely undermine the existing telecos and crappy mobile phone technology that is available in the US now.
    • The only area that Google has been truly succesful in has been search. GMail is a major player, certainly, but most email users still run ISP-provided mail, and I don't even think that Google has captured a majority of the webmail space. Google's business philosophy on taking market share appears to be "Let's make efforts on lots and lots of potential markets, and see which pan out." This has had limited degrees of success, but look at the failed Google endeavors...

      -Orkut. You'd think that this would be pop
  • by namityadav ( 989838 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @01:57PM (#21815614)
    As much as I like Google and want them to win the 700MHz auction and open a new platform for us to develop mobile applications that are 'really' useful, I won't call them a player in the telecom scene just because they are bidding in the auction. When they win the auction and provide the infrastructure (Alone or with partners), only then will they really be a player in the telecom field. We just have to wait and watch.
  • ... released a handset (Apple) and said that they are gonna do something with cell phones (Google). Faint stars so far.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by reidconti ( 219106 )
      It's a sad world when a company making its first foray into a new market, releases a product that has features already found in that market, and which more-or-less just performs the way it's supposed to, is considered a star.

      However, that is the sad world we live in. The mobile handset market in the US is such a disaster that the iPhone, despite not really having any specifically killer new features, is astounding. It simply works so much better than the other products already on the market that it doesn'
  • Do I understand this correctly? Google is the media darling for saying they will be in an auction next year and they are rumored to be making a phone? How does this make them a darling? I thought they just made new and innovative ways for me to be innundated by advertisements.
    • by wootest ( 694923 )
      Beyond being rumored to make a phone, they also got a few of the industry players together and have announced a new entirely open source mobile platform (of which a preview is available). I'm not a big fan of designing platforms by committee, nor do I think that the next breakthrough in mobile usability is likely to come from a group that includes Motorola, but Google's participation is interesting and stretches beyond auction participation and steadily-denied "Google phone" rumors.
  • In a nutshell, the modern cellphone corporation's business model is meant to screw over it's users as best as possible while looking SLIGHTLY better than the competiting cellphone corporation.

    To describe what I mean in a more rational sense: The current cellphone corporation is trying to maximize ARPU. For those who aren't in the know ARPU stands for "Average Revenue Per User". All the cellphone corporations even go so far as to have entire HUGE conferences that focus ENTIRELY on ARPU (or what I refer to
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by syn1kk ( 1082305 )
      If you are wondering, "why would google want to provide the internet in a different form factor?" the answer to that question is: b/c when people have access to the internet they will use google --> using google means using google ads --> using google ads means lots of money going to google.

      So yes Google is being selfish in wanting to provide internet for the masses because it means more money for their coffers, BUT at the same time having internet also means that you can use the internet... and plus
      • I'm not a believer that Google is some sort of saint of a company that is trying to save the world, but I do think as a whole they see the value in creating business plans where they prosper by making choices that benefit not only their bottom line, but that also benefit their consumer as much as possible. This, in and of itself, isn't such a remarkable thing. After all, most people won't give away their money unless they feel they're getting a worthwhile benefit in return.

        What's sort of unusual though, is
    • We should have ditched CDs long ago and we should have a la carte style cable service, ordering only those channels we wish, but none of this has happened yet either. For that matter, cars really haven't evolved much in 50 years either. If only 5% of industry would meet my desire for progress I'd be happy, but unfortunately capitalism dominates, thus keeping us mired in mediocrity for decades.
    • The thing that pisses me off most about the cellphone carriers is that they design..

      Stop right there.

      Carriers do not design or make Phones. They take the phones made from Nokia, Motorola etc. and rebrand them. Sometimes they disable features (but smart consumers just reflash with the generic firmware anyway).

      Once cellphones become generic TCP / IP traffic riding on some standardized physical layer...

      All phones support TCP/IP. An increasing number have wifi etc. There are VOIP applicaitions freely avai
      • by syn1kk ( 1082305 )
        "There are VOIP applicaitions freely available for most of them (with Nokias it's even built into the firmware). Google are doing nothing particularly new here": Yes there is VOIP applications available for cellphone hardware. The things Google speaks about probably have been offered in one form or another. However the difference is that Google will be offering a data service as the PRIMARY service. Offering a data service as their primary wireless service IS DEFINITELY something "particularly new here".
  • No Doubt! software development []

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