Google enters wireless market

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Google is steadily working on its battle plan to conquer space on the airwaves in the United States. A coalition of IT companies must help the search giant to market its services wirelessly.

The tactics Google has chosen to achieve this goal are becoming increasingly apparent. The current strategy is to influence the rules of the game for the upcoming auction for wireless frequencies. To achieve this goal, Google has joined the Coalition for 4G in America, which includes eBay, Skype, Yahoo, Intel, satellite companies DirecTV and EchoStar, and wireless provider Access Spectrum. The FCC currently has several proposals, but the coalition is actively lobbying for package bidding. With such an auction method, a bidder can obtain licenses for a nationwide network in one go. The coalition also wants the FCC to make large parts of the freed up radio spectrum available, so that wireless services can reach customers at high speeds. The FCC won’t make a decision on the auction terms until June, but the regulator has already hinted in an interim report that it is receptive to the requests from the 4G lobby.

It is still unclear whether Google also wants to bid on frequencies itself or whether it only wants to try with partners. Analysts expect in any case that Skype wants to roll out a network together with Yahoo, whether or not with Intel that should supply the wireless technology. According to the same analysts, Google would not only be interested in wireless frequencies, but also in licenses that have already been granted. The search giant is trying to get the FCC to relax its license reselling and frequency sharing rules. Google’s ultimate goal is a highly competitive market, in which cable companies, telecom companies, ISPs and 4G network companies fight for every customer. For example, the search giant hopes to bring its ever-growing pallet of web services to the customer through various channels and at the lowest possible price.

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