TechCrunch is reporting on Google & Co’s FCC approval of unlicensed use of the ‘white space’ spectrum left over from the digital switchover in the US, there’s a similar debate going on over her in the UK – which I sincerely hope will go the same way.
Why? Because this could represent the unravelling of the mobile-phone GSM dominance of network carriers. Particularly since Google recently applied for a patent to completely unravel the way traditional mobiles work by de-coupling them from forced service usage and instead picking and chosing the strongest, fastest network link in the area to use for comms.
Naturally that kind of thing would never fly with manufacturers or networks (since their cooperation is so closely aligned), however – with the opening of the white space spectrum, it’s possible to envisage devices which use these frequencies for VOIP and Internet access without signal strength/ubiquity issues or network lock-in.
However – as with all telephony services, any devices suing the spectrum will still need relays and towers – representing a significant investment for any company wishing to compete, it also represents a potential new industry alltogether – the shape of which has not been defined yet – with any luck, or with some strong backing (and Google is pushing this hard), we may yet see a competing network of telephone providers based on the request/bid/connect model Google is proposing.
Anyone noticing a strategic trend here? Android as an open OS / Mobile patent for free devices / new frequency spectrum opens up… do no evil or master-plan for a strategic shift?
Definetely worth keeping an eye on this one…