Could Google Be Looking to Dominate the Wireless Industry Next?

Patent Applications Suggests the Possibility

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Google’s been giving a lot of thought to the future lately with all of its posts from experts in their respective fields on the Official Google Blog. Google also looks to be really thinking about its own future in the mobile space with a recent patent application for "flexible communication systems and methods". The abstract for this patent is as follows:

A method of initiating a telecommunication session for a communication device include submitting to one or more telecommunication carriers a proposal for a telecommunication session, receiving from at least one of the one or more of telecommunication carriers a bid to carry the telecommunications session, and automatically selecting one of the telecommunications carriers from the carriers submitting a bid, and initiating the telecommunication session through the selected telecommunication carrier.

In other words, Google is trying to patent the concept of mobile devices being able to operate across all services, and switch around to different networks, so that it is always on the least expensive channel as possible. If this were to come to fruition, it could potentially render cell phone contracts obsolete.

Wheels in Motion?

Obviously this would not be an easy task to pull off even for Google. Providers aren’t going to just want to submit to this concept unless something valuable is truly in it for them. However,  Priya Ganapati at Wired explains:

Even if telecom carriers don’t sign on, Google can potentially pull this off — albeit slowly. Last year, the company participated in the federal government’s auction of wireless spectrum in the 700 Megahertz band. Though Google failed to win any licenses, it bagged a commitment from the Federal Communications Commission that spectrum owners, Verizon and AT&T, among others, can’t block out Internet or telecom rivals.

Meanwhile, the company has invested about $500 million in the Sprint-Clearwire WiMax wireless broadband network.

So it’s not like Google hasn’t gotten its feet wet in the mobile space, not to mention the newly launched Google phone, which puts them in even deeper.


Jumping to conclusions is easy though, and perhaps it’s not too wise to make such a big deal about this scenario yet. After all, it’s only a patent filing, and not even really a new concept at that as Techdirt points out. "The real question shouldn’t be about whether or not this will kill off mobile contracts, but why anyone should think this is patentable material," says Techdirt’s Mike Masnick. "Least cost routing techniques have been around for ages, and you could buy a fax machine that would do it automatically for you years ago…"

He may be right about that, but when Google patents something, it might also be unwise to totally dismiss it. Few (if any) companies have shown as many aspirations into as many areas of technology as Google, and actually have the ability to make good on them. Let’s not put the cart in front of the horse, but just remember, it’s a pretty powerful cart.

Could Google Be Looking to Dominate the Wireless Industry Next?
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