Saturday, December 01, 2007

Google and the opening of the cellular network

We discuss the open architecture of the Internet, a "dumb" network, that connects smart devices. Users, not the network operators, decide what hardware to use and which applications to develop. As such, we see rapid innovation and massive investment. We have contrasted this with the cellular telephone network in which the network operators control the hardware and applications that are developed.

The cellular network is beginning to open. New spectrum is being auctioned off and Google is lobbying the to open the cellular network. They are dominant in desktop Internet services and advertising, and would like to exploit an open cellular network to dominate mobile Internet services and advertising.

During the last month, the New York times has published four articles on the opening of the cell network and Google's role in it.

Individuals, organizations and the economy would benefit from an open cellular network, but do you worry that Google, if successful, may become too powerful?