Thursday, July 26, 2007

Google Joins Sprint and Clearwire in WiMAX Initiative

Today Google and Sprint have announced a partnership - Sprint has agreed to provide Open Standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to Google, allowing Google to develop applications on Sprint web-enabled devices. Services developed for the WiMAX network will include search, e-mail, calendaring, and social networking. The Sprint/Clearwire WiMAX network is scheduled to launch early 2008. Here's a quote from Yahoo Technology News:

.... analysts were quick to point out that the cooperative agreement doesn't exclude the two companies from competing against each other down the road.

"It's an absolute no-brainer" for Google to increase its presence in the wireless sector by working with as many operators as possible and helping them customize services," said Andy Buss, principle analyst with "But Google is looking to become an operator in its own right."

"It would be good for Google to control its own platform," he said. "They need to make some risk-sharing investments in the underlying networks to have a say in how they're architectured and developed."

In Europe, Buss didn't rule out the possibility of Google becoming a mobile virtual network operator, piggybacking on existing networks. This approach, he said, would allow the company to establish a "consistent" level of expertise across highly fragmented Europe.

In a separate but related topic Google is also in the market for some spectrum of it's own. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be auctioning off the valuable 700MHz range frequency spectrum next year. There is a lot of political positioning happening now and I'll write about it in a future blog so there is not confusion.

Listen to Mike Q and my latest podcast "Skype, More Skype, Goodbye Copper and Casual Gaming" linked here.

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