GPhone and 700MHz auction – connect the dots

OK.  So I am bad blogger and not posting often enough to generate some loyal readership.  Now for today’s thought.

So everyone is trying to figure out what the GPhone is and why Google is building such a beast.  Well, let’s take a look at what else Google is doing that could be related to the GPhone:

  •  There is the 700MHz spectrum auction and it looks like Google is saying they will bid
  • They have hired Vint Cerf who is an internet pioneer and a strong proponent of IP-over-everything.
  • Google apps and search today rely on the fact that the internet is open and an IP network.

Now let’s take a look at mobile networks that we today:

  • They are controlled by your mobile operator.  They say what you can and cannot do.  They control everything about the networks *and* the devices on the network.  Essentially they stifle innovation in the mobile space.
  • The IP part of mobile networks are an afterthought and have been bolted on a “voice-centric” network infrastructure.  These networks are a mess from an architecture standpoint in contrast to pure IP networks.

My conclusion:  the GPhone is an enabler/catalyst for a pure IP based mobile infrastructure.  Long term I don’t think Google cares about the device business per se.  What they care about is that devices become unlocked from mobile operators and are pure IP devices and that this promotes innovation and rapid change in the mobile space.  This makes all of Google’s current stack, apps and infrastructure deployable in the mobile space as well as the traditional internet.  And that’s a big win for Google because mobile phones will be the one and  only device for a lot of people in different geographies (where folks may not have PCs).  So initially the GPhone may be a device but it’s really much more about the software stack and changing the mobile landscape & business models.

Now wasn’t that worth waiting for…

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