Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Google Phone service coming soon?

The New York Times published an article about the possibilities of Google entering the wireless phone market. The angle they chose to take was about Google’s GPhone and Apple’s IPhone. While there may be enough speculation to warrant several paragraphs of news, I think the NYT completely missed the target.

I believe Google has very little interest in Apple’s IPhone, other than partnering with them to insure Google’s applications run on the device. I think Google’s eyes are on a much bigger picture, affording them another huge source for advertising revenue. My theory is based on several things Google has been taking an interest in. The first one, other than the GPhone itself, is Google’s interest in the 700MHz band being auctioned off by the FCC. With this in mind, I have very little doubt the GPhone will work in this area of the spectrum.

There are some other things Google has been doing help to bring this all home. For example, have you tried Goog411? If not, visit Http://www.google.com/goog411/. Why would Google be so interested in a telephone 411 application? Well, if you have a mobile phone which can receive Google Maps, Google Information, and (of course) Google Advertisements, then you have a potentially profitable revenue stream.

Taking this to the next level, Google has always had a very strong interest in providing free WiFi to metropolitan areas. While this has proven to be less-than practical to implement, I think Google still would like to see some form of wireless communications which is free to access by the masses. Don’t forget, Google is sitting on a very large network of unused fiber optics. If Google wins the 700MHz spectrum, establishes access points linked by their fiber network, and provides mobile communications with the GPhone, Google will be in a position to collect HUGE truck-loads of money from advertisers.

Scenario :
You use GPhone and Goog411 to call a hardware store. Google sends you a map (to your GPhone via Google Maps). On the map, other advertisers have their stores listed along the route AND Google is sending you additional advertisements related to hardware. Over time, the GPhone will have accumulated certain trends, based on the calls you make, and custom advertisements are sent to your phone – maybe even GPhone-Only coupons to be used at participating retailers.

The question becomes…will people use a GPhone if the service is free, yet requires you to be blasted with advertisements?


New York Times Story about the GPhone

(BTW: If you are a Skype user, you can dial Goog411 (for free) and be connected to the business via Google. This is a way to get free Skype-Out calls. At the moment, it only works for calling out to businesses.)

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