Google Touted As Possible Sprint Buyer
A wireless broadband network could be as close as writing a check, if Google opts to save Sprint and turn it into the GoogleNet.
The fanciful suggestion by Rich Tehrani that Google may buy Sprint stems from rumors hinting along those lines. Such a move would be as disruptive to the wireless industry as Google’s debut was to the Internet search industry.
It’s a point we’ve made several times previously: Google’s phone ambitions are not as interesting as the network that will support them. Purchasing Sprint and winning the bid in the upcoming 700MHz wireless auction puts Google in the driver’s seat, if it happens, since Sprint already has the physical bits of the network in place.
That would enable Google to do even more with the local mobile search it made available for phone two years ago. Stroll by a Google-powered local business, and one’s phone might light up with a coupon for that business.
Sprint’s a bit of a mess right now, minus a CEO, minus its WiMax partner Clearwire, and worst of all, losing subscribers. Those conditions might contribute to making its bigger shareholders more receptive to a sale.
Om Malik thinks a more likely solution could happen with Sprint spinning out its WiMax dreams into another company. Google and big tech names like Cisco, Intel, and their pals at Apple could all have a role in backing this venture, and bank on profiting on the hardware side once it launches.
All of that hardware, of course, would carry Google’s ads and services to the mobiles carried by people across the country. That’s when the whole Google Phone meme becomes interesting. Keep watching.