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Google Reveals Wireless Vision — Open Networks

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the optimizing-the-ethertubes dept.

Google 90

Anti-Globalism writes with this excerpt from CNet: "Google's vision of tomorrow's wireless network is in stark contrast to how wireless operators do business today, setting the two sides on a possible collision course. Earlier this week, the search giant filed a patent application with the US Patent Office describing its vision of an open wireless network where smartphones aren't tied to any single cell phone network. In Google's open wireless world, phones and other wireless devices would search for the strongest, fastest connection at the most competitive price. Essentially, wireless operators' networks would be reduced to 'dumb pipes.'" The full patent application is available as well. Google founder Larry Page recently asked the FCC to free up portions of the broadcast spectrum for this purpose.

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90 comments

fp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177181)

eat out my asshole you fags!

Re:fp (2, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177505)

communications networks, like other societal infrastructure, are natural monopolies. that's the way in which they function the most efficiently.

i know a lot of people seem to think that competition and consumer choice are the end and the ultimate for everything from breakfast cereal to health care. but that's just not true for things like wireless networks. if you take the same amount of resources as multiple competing (redundant) networks and put them all into a single network infrastructure, you would have better connectivity, network performance, and probably network capacity as well.

so the best model would probably be to set up municipal wi-fi networks using the white space spectrum and simply have the telecoms provide a routing service. it would still allow cellphone users to have handsets not tied to any particular carrier, but rather the handset would connect to the local wi-fi access point and then select from the fastest VoIP service (like Skype) for each call.

i appreciate Google's proposal, which actually offers a compromise between municipal wi-fi and the current subscription model, but i just don't see the telecoms giving up their tight grip on wireless communication. they would lose their lucrative data plans which charge extortionate rates for basic internet access. if the telecoms were smart, they would work with google on realizing a these commercial open wireless networks, otherwise when the public/consumers finally get fed up with their abuse of tax-subsidized infrastructure, they'll simply adopt municipal wi-fi and create a public wireless infrastructure to replace closed telephone networks.

Re:fp (2, Interesting)

SuperQ (431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177715)

I agree. Communication technology becoming common to every day living. It's about time we turn it into something that governments service like the sewers, plumbing, and roads

Re:fp (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25178473)

I agree. Communication technology becoming common to every day living. It's about time we turn it into something that governments service like the sewers, plumbing, and roads

You want the internet service to be government controlled?
I don't really like that idea.

Re:fp (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178533)

I don't want to have 15 wires strung to my house, I don't want to have companies pirating each other's spectrum in different areas of the country.

It's a limited resource that many people want to use... you can't just say "Go for it" in those cases, because you get what's known as a tragedy of the commons.

The government should not be controlling internet service. They should be regulating how it's provided, forcing it to be open and available. And that's it. Nothing about the content, just the delivery.

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25179007)

I agree. Communication technology becoming common to every day living. It's about time we turn it into something that governments service like the sewers, plumbing, and roads

You want the internet service to be government controlled? I don't really like that idea.

so, how is 'corporate-controlled' better? have fun...

Re:fp (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25182725)

You talk, as if there were a difference between corporations and a government.
Nowadays the government is just a club for the feudalistic corporations, to find compromises on their differences for nationwide issues.
The rest is a facade.

Why else would bribing (aka. lobbying) not be a federal "go directly to the pound-me-in-the-ass-prison" crime?

Re:fp (1)

SuperQ (431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25257837)

I want the wires brought to my house to be maintained by the _local_ government. They don't have to provide the services on those wires, that can be done by any company. We already have government granted local monopolies like Comcast, and AT&T. I think a local city government would provide a better quality of service.

Re:fp (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179395)

I agree. Communication technology becoming common to every day living. It's about time we turn it into something that governments service like the sewers, plumbing, and roads

I don't care if the government handles the 'data' going through my plumbing, or the 'data' going through the highway. I *do* care about my communications privacy though.

Re:fp (2, Interesting)

try_anything (880404) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178331)

communications networks, like other societal infrastructure, are natural monopolies. that's the way in which they function the most efficiently.

I disagree. Unlike roads, wireless communications networks are not physically mutually exclusive: multiple networks can operate in the same physical space. Unlike phone and sewage lines, it's easy to redistribute capacity among individual consumers: an individual doesn't have just one line that must be operated by one company.

Wireless communications are perfect for competition, because all an operator needs to do is rent some frequencies, set up a tower, and make sure it can negotiate with phones and route traffic to the rest of the phone network.

There are two problems: fraud and privacy. Fraud might be solvable, and I sure as hell don't trust AT&T or Verizon privacy-wise, so how could things get worse on that front?

Re:fp (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178553)

Frequencies are a limited resource, though. You can't use the entire wireless spectrum because there are too many services that run on it. Not to mention people's personal networks (2.4GHz and so on). You end up having a very small slice of spectrum available for network transmission, and whoever has the strongest towers or deepest pockets can override everyone else. It needs regulation because it's a scarce resource.

Re:fp (2, Interesting)

try_anything (880404) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179011)

Regulation doesn't have to mean monopoly. Right now, small providers get squeezed out because everybody wants a cheap cell contract that works everywhere. The more spectrum you control in more places, the better and cheaper service you can provide, thus supporting your brand and gaining more national market share.

If local wireless coverage is only a simple service sold as a commodity, with no consumer-visible branding, then (hopefully) the economic value of the spectrum will depend on how efficiently the service provider can use it. The highest bidder for spectrum will tend to be the most efficient service provider, whether it's AT&T or Mom and Pop.

Of course, QoS will have to be part of the deal negotiated by your phone on your behalf, to prevent a race to the bottom in terms of quality.

Re:fp (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179147)

well, think about it this way. imagine you're just looking at the wireless infrastructure for California, and it's being rolled out by commercial telecoms without any central planning.

major urban areas like Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco, etc. would be the most profitable local markets, so those places would end up being serviced by all of the service providers. but people living up in the mountains, in more rural areas, or in small towns like those that sit right along Highway 395, etc. would get no coverage at all. i mean, who wants to spend the money to bring wireless access to areas with marginal returns?

as bandwidth usage goes up, and wireless infrastructure becomes more integrated into our society, we will also need to look at using our full radio spectrum for wireless networking. at that point maximizing efficiency will be a major issue. and that just isn't achievable with all the carriers competing for the same markets and without any kind of central planning.

Re:fp (1)

try_anything (880404) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179245)

that just isn't achievable with all the carriers competing for the same markets and without any kind of central planning.

Obviously a great deal of regulation and planning would be required to set up the market. What pieces of spectrum are sold, and what limitations are the winning bidders required to abide by, in terms of what services they offer?

In areas where there is a need for coverage, but no profitable way to provide it, let government sweeten the deal enough to make it profitable. As long as the spectrum auctions are open and competitive, there shouldn't be any way for a company to get sweetheart contracts and milk the taxpayers.

Having local government subsidize wireless service in places where it's unprofitable would stop the de facto welfare system whereby rural cell coverage is funded by urban subscribers, but if we really want such a welfare system, we can vote on it ;-)

And the first thing they do after connecting... (2, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177193)

And the first thing they do after connecting, is of course, load up Google! I'm sure none of this surprises anyone.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177225)

It also wouldn't be suprising if Google will provide the "strongest, fastest connection at the most competitive price" themselves as they already showed interest in buying a spectrum of frequencies earlier.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178563)

They showed interest in bidding the spectrum up high enough that it would be open. They didn't actually care if they won it or not, they'd have used it if they did, if not, they were happy to let someone else do that work. That's not their core business. But having it open access, that IS what they care about, and that is why they bid it the way they did.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179317)

Google has no connection to provide to consumers.

And none of the current crop of wireless carriers would find implementing this patent at all interesting, as they DON'T want to devalue themselves into being bit-carriers. They see themselves as both a necessary link between consumers and valuable information, as well as being able to provide all the information the consumer could want. Sure you might want to surf around reading things on the internets, but the carrier has everything you want to buy.

Just look at the current most-hyped smartphones in the US:
-both are sold as part of a long-term contract, with "unlimited" data plans (unlimited, as it can only be used on opposite day, where it means "to have limits")
-both carriers explicitly don't permit VOIP over their wireless networks
-both carriers have "secretly" denied customers the ability to purchase and download music over their wireless network

And by "secretly", I mean they don't explicitly come out as say "You can't download music over our network", they simply deny your ability to do so. And not because of bandwidth concerns, because their walled-garden phones can directly download music from the carriers music site. This means that there is no actual bandwidth "concern" (that the music files take up too much bandwidth on their network), but that you aren't permitted to do so only because the carrier isn't getting their cut (it is also possible the music cartel also like this limitation, so the carriers can keep charging $2 and up for both songs and ringtones).

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (1)

GonzoPhysicist (1231558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181365)

Actually Google does have wifi connections all throughout their hometown of Mountain View.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (3, Insightful)

strabes (1075839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177451)

Like anyone uses any other search engine anyway... :)

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177937)

True. Everyone that is mentally sane uses Google as their homepage and search engine. But, this is slashdot and we have lots of pathetic losers mom's basement dwellers so they die with jealousy when they see Sergey and Larry living the big life: flying big boeing 777 private jet houses, filled with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Mercedes, and a heated pool with 60 naked super models.
Those pathetic losers then go and criticize Google. Because they won't ever be where Sergie and Larry are. Let the losers crawl back to the darkness where they live their Second Life and their WoW persona...

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (1)

syntek (1265716) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178517)

Hey now, not everyone is a basement dweller who plays WoW. Second Life on the other hand was a great idea at first, now it's just virtual sex services.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (1)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25180659)

It's a 767-200 [wsj.com] you insensitive clod.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (1)

PastaLover (704500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25183531)

True. Everyone that is mentally sane uses Google as their homepage and search engine.

Actually I don't really see any particularly compelling reason to make it your homepage. Though it is handy for the "is the internet working" kinda thing. Personally though, as long as you are given the choice and can easily change it, what's the problem?

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25180347)

"And the first thing they do after power on self test, is of course, load up Windows! I'm sure none of this surprises anyone."

"Like anyone uses any other operating system anyway... :)"

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (3, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177557)

So? My Homepage IS Google. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who has it set to that.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (1)

First Circle (933494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178683)

Me Too! Specifically iGoogle : http://www.google.com/ig [google.com] I have been assimilated.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (2, Funny)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178913)

<mechanical monotone>
WE ARE GORG RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
</mechanical monotone>

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
notcapsnotcapsnotcapsnotcapss

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25180227)

what's the point of having google as a homepage when browsers have the search bar?

my homepage is/are my last page(s) visited from the last time i closed my browser.

Re:And the first thing they do after connecting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181311)

I'm with you there... Google is my homepage too - I wouldn't have it any other way!

Ok - where do i donate for this ? (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177201)

did they set up an organization or something ? already buying out lawmakers ? where do i donate ?

im serious. there is no other way that people's will can be legislated, in current u.s. legal system. you have to BUY the laws.

so tell me where do we donate. dont say EFF, im already donating there.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (5, Insightful)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177277)

You are not required to purchase laws. Think of them as optional services. Buy only what you need. The only required purchase is protection, just ask Microsoft. If they'd given more, sooner that whole anti-trust thing may never have happened.

Any sufficiently advanced protection racket is indistinguishable from government.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177427)

Wow, that Anti-Trust thing basically just said "Microsoft, you have a monopoly" and then Microsoft said, "So what are you going to do about it?". Really, other than a bit of money lost and a tad bit of bad press, it didn't do much to MS.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (2, Informative)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177711)

They started contributing [opensecrets.org] just in time.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177279)

Google is already donating to us, and we would be more than glad to accept donations from you

--
US Patents Office

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (4, Insightful)

daemonburrito (1026186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177603)

Me, too.

I'm terrified by what is happening with the current major-telco/ISP system. From what I've seen in the past 20 years, a large enough chunk of humanity has the vulnerable-to-marketing gene that these people [slashdot.org] may likely get what they want: A second Great Firewall in the United States, just for the billions they want to make in commoditizing entertainment (that's what they mean when they refer to art as "content").

It would be even more likely, if there wasn't a 1.5e11 dollar company in the way, headed by people who understand that being publicly traded doesn't mean you sacrifice ethics for shareholder return. AFAICT, they've stuck by their motto, and they understand how important these issues are for humankind.

Yeah, I know, I've drunk the kool-aid, etc. Save it.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (2, Interesting)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177805)

Agree'd. Also notice how there is surprisingly little google hating in the comments this time. Is it going out of fashion already?
Admittedly it must be really hard for the google-haters to find something to whine about in this particular story... I guess we'll just see some "too good to be true"-rants and that's it.

Back on topic: This would be a truly awesome move by google. Let's see if they can really pull it off, they'll have the whole telco industry against them. Talk about a game-changer!

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (3, Interesting)

daemonburrito (1026186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177945)

I guess we'll just see some "too good to be true"-rants and that's it.

Well, that and the whole patent thing. I'm of the opinion that patents and current IP law are a legacy system and it will eventually be unworkable, but we haven't quite evolved away from it yet.

Maybe when everyone sees the benefits of having the sum of humankind's knowledge and expression available to anybody with cheap hardware; with everyone able to contribute in real-time, without the interference of commercial gatekeepers, we can ditch it. Of course, the trillions of dollars in productivity gained in the past 30-some years of computing and networking hasn't demonstrated the point to the vast majority of people, but it has to get through their thick skulls eventually.

For now, I'll just say I'm picking my battles, and Google has earned my trust.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (2, Insightful)

Raenex (947668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181463)

AFAICT, they've stuck by their motto, and they understand how important these issues are for humankind.

Get real. First and foremost they care about their bottom line. Having an open network prevents ISPs from squeezing them. Sometimes Google's interests and the public's interests align. Great, I'm glad when it does. Just don't pretend that Google is some kind of saintly company. They've done plenty of wrong, and you'd be a fool to blindly trust them.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (1)

daemonburrito (1026186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25183341)

Not flaming you here, this is an honest question.

Are you saying this for the specific case of Google, or are you saying this because you think that public companies can only act in the interest of profit?

If it is the latter, are you saying that all companies only act in the interest of growth by nature of being a company, or are you saying that Google is compelled to act in the interest of growth (i.e., Google is compelled to perform an action that is good for growth and socially harmful, if that action is technically legal)?

If you are saying that Google is compelled by securities law to act badly, you're wrong, despite what the people with rolled-up sleeves say on CNBC.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25185045)

Are you saying this for the specific case of Google, or are you saying this because you think that public companies can only act in the interest of profit?

I'm saying this in the specific case of Google, based on their actions, though it's the safest assumption to make of any company.

If you are saying that Google is compelled by securities law to act badly, you're wrong, despite what the people with rolled-up sleeves say on CNBC.

A lot of people on Slashdot say this too. What's your explanation for why they are wrong?

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (1)

daemonburrito (1026186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25185617)

They are wrong because there isn't any law that states that. Shareholders can sue, but only for a pretty limited set of reasons, all of which fall under really serious malfeasance or gross incompetence by officers. You can't sue (and win against) Jerry Yang and the board for not selling to Microsoft, for example.

I'm guessing you really want to know where the meme came from, and I couldn't say for sure (besides the CNBC stuff).

I can tell you that securities litigation was a very large industry in the 1990s. It was an extortion racket, and most successful player was Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman [wikipedia.org] . The financial rag columnists (sycophants all) toned down their rhetoric after the four partners pled guilty to federal charges, but there was a decade where no one told the truth about the issue. Even non-financial news sources spread the gospel, as they were informed by the same columnists (so-called experts).

I think that the belief also fits in a common world-view the sees dollars as magic, and it sometimes provides cover for bad behavior.

In short, I think it had inflated exposure when billions were being made in a racket, it's used as an excuse by companies that behave badly, and it allows day-traders to act righteously indignant.

YMMV, IANAL, etc.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25185811)

Well, all very interesting, and I thank you for the Milberg & Weiss link, but what I'm still missing is what the law actually says. So for now I'll reserve judgment until I do some research.

Re:Ok - where do i donate for this ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25178161)

Start here:

http://www.freetheairwaves.com/

THE REPUBLIKAN PARTY you sycophant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25184735)

Tracking a REPUBLIKAN CRONY, because he is a "registered user" here, just to illustrate my point I had made to he earlier, in a few of his posts (where he deemed fit to call others idiots and moron etc.) & then, out of frustration, lol, tried to goad me into being a 'registered trackable user here' like he is... for what? More "Homeland security & wars for freedom"? Give us a break...

As you can see - There is NO STOPPING my "A/C" from doing it, none, such as the 10x a day posting limit here @ /., either, as you can plainly see.

See my point, crony/sycophant/bootlicker/yes-man/stooge? Intelligence and skill doesn't come from "being part of the team", and "joining the in-crowd" either. Either you have it, or you don't, period. Your kind? You try to exploit & fool folks with actual wherewithall & skills, but, you don't get all of us with your lines of bullshit like "voodoo economics", "trickle down theory", or "wars for freedom" plus "the global economy".

Now, I could do this to you all day/for time unending here if I wished, until you finally changed your nick here, but I won't. This was just to illustrate a point to you. Now, trying to find myself, by way of comparison? LOL, good luck.

If I wanted to, even the moderation staff would be mystified (actually, I suspect they KNOW the system is weak here in that regard and exactly how to get past "A/C" account posting limitations), because I can go "invisible" once more, & blow by their tracing methods, with childish ease, everytime, AND be back "ghosting my way in" posting as "A/C" in seconds time only.

SO - Ontop of calling myself all kinds of names? You told me to "register as a regular user here"??

LOL, that is a laugh - why SHOULD I???

Just so I could be bothered by YOU, and fall for your puny tricks & deceits????

(Via your tracking MY POSTINGS, as I am doing to you now - just so I can lllustrate that I am NOT as stupid as your "republikan" view of "I.M. Part of the 'TEAM'" view point????)

Again, no thanks... so, do you NOW see the "downside" of your being 'registered' here? You like to toss those names, would you like me to harass you for years for it, in retaliation??

Trust me - I could do that, easily. However, I won't. This was just to show you no stupid 'join the gang' (flock of lemmings is more like it, easily tracked ones) here, or elsewhere, makes you stronger - because buddy? It only makes you WEAKER, by being so damned easily trackable, it is not even funny! Wake up...

Above ALL else?

Well, I don't take suggestions from REPUBLIKAN CRONIES/SYCOPHANTS/POLITIKAL APPOINTEES/STOOGES/LACKIES, & nor do I want any part of their "be part of the team" mentality, which appeals to the personally WEAK, who crave power, even if it is at the cost of their own souls & personal dignity, and at the price of being outright shunned by others... or the life of their children and their futures, as well as those of others (organized crime under the name of politiks is more like it), who are such "geniuses" they are ruining a great nation.

(mods/admins, this is only to illustrate a point to he, and, possibly yourselves too (as to the effectiveness of the "A/C" account restrictions here, easily gotten past, but I think you know this) - I don't intend to keep it up, just to make a point to this fool who attempted to goad me with his name tossing directed my way).

patenting visions? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177229)

the usual pro or anti google stand aside, since when did "vision" become something patentable?

Re:patenting visions? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177317)

It's a method of finding a connection.

A method of initiating a telecommunication session for a communication device include submitting to one or more telecommunication carriers a proposal for a telecommunication session, receiving from at least one of the one or more of telecommunication carriers a bid to carry the telecommunications session, and automatically selecting one of the telecommunications carriers from the carriers submitting a bid, and initiating the telecommunication session through the selected telecommunication carrier.

Re:patenting visions? (1)

stuboogie (900470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25180065)

Basically, a reverse auction which is already in use in other formats. Priceline.com comes to mind.

Implementing this "method" should be interesting if there are multiple carriers in your area. Do you set a price per session you are willing to pay on your phone and then the phone automatically connects to the first carrier that drops to your acceptable price? What if your price is too low? Do you get a denial of service? How long does it take for this negotiation to take place?

I don't see how this works unless the phone just automatically accepts the lowest "bid" received from the carriers. Then, if the competition is sparse or nonexistent, you either pay what they want or do without. If there are multiple carriers that offer the same bid, how does your phone "choose" which one it accepts??

Not sure how this one will shake out.

Every other phone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177329)

Yeah, and their patent is so vague that it describes every other phone out there and explains the ability for upgrading the phone.

Google has become an Evil Corp(TM). I guess now they'll have to pay royalties to MS?

Evil Corp is a Trademark of Microsoft.

Patent? (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177265)

I sincerely hope this isn't all that's in the patent. I wrote about this model for wireless network access about a year ago, and when I was researching the article I came across people with the same idea ten years earlier, who cited even earlier people.

The big step needed to make it happen is to prevent network operators from offering services. When the state licenses them the bandwidth, it should be on the understanding that they only operate the network, nothing else. Otherwise you get serious problems with competition. It is much cheaper for me to make a phone call than a VoIP call from my mobile phone, even though it's cheaper for the operator to route the VoIP call, because it's in their interests to charge more for bandwidth that can be used for competing services. If the network only provided bandwidth, as my ISP does, then it would be in their interests to allow as many services as possible to flourish, so they could charge me more for usage.

Re:Patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177983)

Then file a 3rd party observation to the prosecution process, arguing your case. You might get to overturn the patent!

Re:Patent? (1)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179323)

You aren't the only one. Heck, there's ton of research in the area - the whole 802.21 (and tech-specific adaptations, such as 802.11u) is based on this, and this kind of stuff is mentioned in the specs as example applications.

Re:Patent? (1)

neurogeek (824576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179645)

I sincerely hope this isn't all that's in the patent. I wrote about this model for wireless network access about a year ago, and when I was researching the article I came across people with the same idea ten years earlier, who cited even earlier people.

Could you please provide your references?

Re:Patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25180959)

This idea is way old. There is even fields in the aging GSM protocol set aside for letting each operate indicate what rates they are charging.

The reason it has not been adopted is because it doesn't work. You can't quantify quality and hence a mobile device can't decide which offer is better.

operate = operator (nt) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181329)

this comment is void

Dumb pipes? (3, Funny)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177295)

Essentially, wireless operators' networks would be reduced to 'dumb tubes.'

There, fixed that for you.

Closed dump pipes. (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177367)

Wireless companies bid billions for these dumb pipes. What collision course? Access denied. End of collision!

I saw a light (1)

louzer (1006689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177393)

When I hear about visions these days I am scared. Microsoft has visions and patents too. But thats all they have. Google seems to be becoming the next Microsoft.

When monopolies must exist, decouple/debundle! (4, Insightful)

compumike (454538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177413)

There seem to be some set of natural situations where monopolies essentially must exist due to physical constraints: frequency bands, roads, cable/electric, etc. But it seems to be that a logical principle is that whenever one of these monopolies must be assigned, this is one case where government intervention is warranted -- ensuring that services are decoupled/debundled to the maximum extent reasonable.

For example, roads are a monopoly assigned by local governments to be built by various contractors, but it'd be crazy to imagine that only buildings built by said contractors would be allowed to lie along that road.

I'm usually very against government intervention/regulation, but when these natural monopoly situations occur, that seems to be the point for some reasonable involvement.

--
Learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:When monopolies must exist, decouple/debundle! (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187655)

I'm usually very against government intervention/regulation, but when these natural monopoly situations occur, that seems to be the point for some reasonable involvement.

Yeah, my State's government is specifically limited to intervention in the case of monopolies, collusion, and fictitious capitalization [nh.gov] :

Free and fair competition in the trades and industries is an inherent and essential right of t he people and should be protected against all monopolies and conspiracies which tend to hinder or destroy it. The size and functions of all corporations should be so limited and regulated as to prohibit fictitious capitalization and provision should be made for the supervision and government thereof. Therefore, all just power possessed by the state is hereby granted to the general court to enact laws to prevent the operations within the state of all persons and associations, and all trusts and corporations, foreign or domestic, and the officers thereof, who endeavor to raise the price of any article of commerce or to destroy free and fair competition in the trades and industries through combination, conspiracy, monopoly, or any other unfair means; to control and regulate the acts of all such persons, associations, corporations, trusts, and officials doing business within the state; to prevent fictitious capitalization; and to authorize civil and criminal proceedings in respect to all the wrongs herein declared against.

Not much has really changed in 200+ years, so I think the guys who wrote this pretty much nailed it.

Fix the damn dynamic discussion system already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177449)

D2 stopped working a few days ago.

Frequency hopping, software-based radios... (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177483)

The FCC has been the culprit in resisting the growth of communications in the U.S. Because they are so slow to react to what consumers demand, we're sitting around STILL using bandwidth for antiquated technologies such as broadcast television and radio.

For over a decade, research into software-based radios has continued at an amazing pace. Frequency hopping, which allows the software radios to discover the best frequency to utilize at a given moment, allows the transmission tower and transceiving device to negotiate noise, power needs and transmission speeds almost real time.

I find it crazy that people think we still need to designate frequencies for everything. One-way transmissions (radio, TV) use a ton of space that is seeing demand drop, significantly.

Can you imagine the amount of bandwidth that would be available if the FCC would just step back and let the consumer-producer market find the most efficient solution for wireless data needs? I believe we have a decent amount of proof that unlicensed bandwidth works well: WiFi, cordless phones, and a myriad of other technologies that work well together, but haven't had the chance to be pushed to the limit due to the limited amount of unlicensed bandwidth.

Google is right in wanting there to be a relatively open source process for utilizing available frequencies. I foresee an amazing leap in connectivity, a huge drop is pricing, and a roll out of services across the country that would leapfrog the U.S. to the head of the game again. If only the FCC would step back from their role of monopoly-regulator and possibly only be the organization that lays down the law against individuals or companies who are corrupting the open bandwidth with frequency noise or other clutter. As an anarcho-capitalist, I of course abhor the idea of the FCC doing anything, but I would accept them if they just monitored for those introducing chaos into the unlicensed spectrum if it was opened to an even larger set of frequencies.

Video broadcasts, audio broadcasts, two way communications and more could all share this open spectrum beautifully, with less power usage and more speed available based on the needs of each device at any given moment.

Re:Frequency hopping, software-based radios... (2, Insightful)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177977)

Can you imagine the amount of bandwidth that would be available if the FCC would just step back and let the consumer-producer market find the most efficient solution for wireless data needs?

Yes, and as somebody with an interest in amateur radio, I can say it would be noisy. Consumerism always demands more.

Re:Frequency hopping, software-based radios... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181337)

"Because they are so slow to react to what consumers demand, we're sitting around STILL using bandwidth for antiquated technologies such as broadcast television and radio."

I think you forget the demographics of the United States.

Working in consumer electronics retail I can tell you most people don't understand the importance of the switch to digital TV and really hate the idea. They also like land line phones and don't appreciate LOLCATs.

Re:Frequency hopping, software-based radios... (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25183189)

I believe we have a decent amount of proof that unlicensed bandwidth works well: WiFi, cordless phones, and a myriad of other technologies [....]

Unlicensed bandwidth works great for very low power devices where you normally have the same person in charge of both ends of the connection. My wifi basically covers my house, and only causes moderate interference to one house-width on each side of me. With a dozen channels to hop between, things work out OK. If you scan wireless networks, you'll see 2 or 3 in a suburban setting, or 7 or 8 in an apartment complex... Low enough that there's not much incentive for aggressive competition over bandwidth, and so spectrum licensing is unnecessary.

Cell towers are a different story. They operate at higher power, from higher altitudes, to cover *much* larger swaths of land. Since the endpoints are controlled by different people (service providers vs customers), the strategy of the service providers becomes "Cover all the channels at the highest power possible so I'm the signal people will choose, and bonus points for interfering with other networks". You end up with companies trying to exploit loopholes in what regulations there are (say, using tunable antenna arrays to broadcast beacons extra-strong toward potential customers, while reducing data power to stay within regulated average power limits).

By assigning a company a specific band, their objective narrows to making the best use of their band. That's to everyone's benefit, at the expense of there being less competition... But at least the competition is trying to make efficient use of a limited resource, instead of turning it into a noisy mess.

Re:Frequency hopping, software-based radios... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187693)

Frequency hopping, which allows the software radios to discover the best frequency to utilize at a given moment, allows the transmission tower and transceiving device to negotiate noise, power needs and transmission speeds almost real time.

Isn't that inefficient for one-to-many broadcasting?

Wireless Pipes? (2, Funny)

Geak (790376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177535)

If someone sends an internet to my cellphone I'm going to duck.

patent? (5, Informative)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177601)

Why is this patentable? People in Europe routinely use cell phones with multiple connectivity options. There are WiFi/3G phones and dual SIM card phones. You can use wireless carriers, callbacks, long distance dial-in, or VoIP over WiFi or 3G. And phones have some logic to pick cheaper combinations. If you really push it, you can manage to get two SIM cards and WiFi into the same phone.

Re:patent? (3, Informative)

jcmb (936098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178909)

The method of switching to networks is what they are trying to patent. i.e. The method that a phone would use to select the best and cheapest network to connect to.

Re:patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25181839)

No, they are not trying to patent "the" method for switching networks, they are trying to patent all methods for switching networks based on price, and that is not OK.

My phone already has a method for switching methods based on price. It's not a particularly good method, but it's a method nonetheless. Therefore, they shouldn't be allowed to patent all methods. And given that there is a method to do this that's not patented, improving it is straightforward engineering, and hence also not patentable.

Re:patent? (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25181053)

Because if you don't patent it first, no matter how dumb the patent seems, then somebody else will and you'll be up shit creek.

nice (5, Funny)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177609)

Google is officially my preferred evil overlord.

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25179261)

I for one re-welcome our preferred evil overlords

Re:nice (1)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25180731)

I hear their sharks are now equipped with broad spectrum, collision avoiding, frickin lasers!

One very key issue is the Carterfone decision (5, Informative)

intrico (100334) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177623)

For those who don't know, Carterfone(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carterfone) was an extremely important 1968 FCC decision that obsoleted the phone company model of requiring you to lease a device from them to connect to their networks. The passing of this decision is what gives landline users to this day the freedom to connect whatever device they want to their landline.

Skype petitioned the FCC in 2007 arguing (rightfully so) that the FCC should make the Carterfone rules apply to wireless networks. The FCC chairman Kevin Martin (a member of the business-friendly/consumer-un-friendly Bush Administration) turned it down last year, with a very weak argument basically saying, "Such a move would be premature". Obviously, that translates to, "The wireless companies would like to protect their business model and we don't want to piss them off".

We can fully expect the wireless companies to fight tooth-and-nail against any promotion of truly open networks by companies like Google.

Re:One very key issue is the Carterfone decision (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179329)

I'd assume the feds will fight this tooth and nail also. It'd make tapping phone lines harder so they'd be against it.

Take a look at what they did with CALEA [wikipedia.org] to effectively make open Wifi a very scary proposition. They wouldn't want cell phones to be any less controlled.

"All your base are belong to us." (1)

Befread (1368319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177701)

How can Google force other networks to allow phones on their network? Now I will admit if they could get this going it would force networks to compete in an attempt to claim the best network coverage that you phone is using but isn't that how it is right now, but with contracts, which I don't like. The only difference I see between now, and Google's "patent", is that I'm likely to, at the end of the month have 5 different charges from 5 different companies and no contracts.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177725)

Should a company be allowed to patent a mode of operation that some cell phones already do?

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

g0rAngA (1131007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178843)

Should a company be allowed to patent a mode of operation that some cell phones already do?

no

wireless vision (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177827)

Wireless vision. Wow. What will Google think of next? Wireless audio? Wireless scent?

The future is now!

and the magic cheapest rate.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177853)

..that the new miracle phone would find a lot of places would be free if you eat some ads. I wonder who would want something like that... ..with that said, a dumb pipe to the net is all I want from an ISP or telco company. I don't want any more addons or hidden fees or crap, just some bandwith at a cheap simple rate. We have enough hardware and software now the consumer can figure out what he wants to use that bandwith for. I don't want any more fershlugginer "plans" from those people. Screw their damn plans. No cable plans, no phone plans, no ringtones, no nuthin, just the access. No locked hardware, ain't none of their business what piece of hardware I want to use or for what purpose or where. A flat fee per gigabyte is all the "plan" they need, they can compete on speed and price and reliability then.

Anti-Globalism is a neo-nazi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25178103)

Anti-Globalism & burnitdown are using corrupt.org, a neo-nazi website, as the link given whenever they post a story to Slashdot. It's sad that /. continues to take their submissions without considering what kind of website they are linking to.

Re:Anti-Globalism is a neo-nazi (1)

daemonburrito (1026186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178643)

Wow... You're right. Ick!

I thought that this submission was a little strange coming from them, as their recent submissions on the subject have been decidedly anti-NN astroturf pieces. Maybe they were expecting us to get mad about the patent thing?

I've been annoyed before with their inanity, but I thought they were just gold-standard-libertarian-fundamentalists. I had no idea that they're actually stoking-hatred-of-immigrants-traditionalist-nazis.

Just tubes. (1)

DeltaQH (717204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178395)

In the end telcos will be just a tube like company, similar to the light, gas and electricity utilities. The limits existing today are completely artificial.

Wireless eyeballs (2, Funny)

thewiz (24994) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178415)

Google Reveals Wireless Vision

Wow, did anyone else read the title to mean Google had developed a way to make human eyeballs wireless?

Damn, I need more coffee.

About time (1)

The Real Tachyon (1332153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178549)

It's great that there's finally someone big enough, and with enough money to challenge the telco's. I bet they are going nuts at the thought of having to compete fairly based only on price, value and features. Whatever you might think of Google, they sure aren't afraid to take on the status quo and the 900 lb. gorillas when it suits them. I don't really care what Google's profit motives are here, if they can force this type of change and competition in a market famous for it's anti-customer behaviour and draconian contracts, then good for them.
Meanwhile, I bet the telecoms are getting out their lawyers and pulling all the strings on their bought politicians to stop this. I wonder how long until someone tags something on a bill that would outlaw this?

The Real, Original, Tachyon
Accept no substitutes!

Publication 18 months after filing (3, Informative)

neurogeek (824576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25179667)

This patent **application** was filed on March 19, 2007; it was just **published** on the 25th. At the present rate, it will be evaluated by USPTO in late 2009 or 2010.

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25179739)

So why are they 'patenting' the whole mechanism, again? I mean, it is supposed to be an "open" network, right?

One thing I fail to comprehend here is, why do these big business companies treat consumers as a dumb crown who'd following whatever 'buzz' they want to throw out of their head.

But, I think the idea of open networks does have some charm, but it is not about networks anymore, it is about content, about the ecosystem and so if Google 'owns' the ecosystem, can it still be considered open?

Who pays for this? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25180695)

If I buy a phone and a contract with say ATT, and I'm in a location in which Verizon is the strongest signal. How does Verizon get compensated for this? Are the expected to set up peering agreements with ATT or do they charge ATT for the right to allow ATT contracted phones to attach to Verizon's network?

evil or yet-another-comm-priest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25183677)

Does this make goo* evil or communication priest?

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