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Apple and Google Are Telecom's Newest Stars

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-try-dancing-with-the-stars dept.

Communications 35

In looking back at 2007, CNet views the smash entrance of Google and Apple onto the telecom stage as a major formative factor for 2008's tech scene. Google in particular is going to be a huge factor in the much-anticipated wireless auction. "Google was instrumental in getting the FCC to adopt auction rules that would ultimately give consumers more choice in the devices they use on these new networks. And in November, Google CEO Eric Schmidt committed the company to bidding in the auction, promising to spend at least $4.6 billion on licenses. Exactly what Google plans to do with the spectrum if it wins licenses is still unknown. But its participation raises the stakes, especially for traditional telephony players."

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the bluff (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21814784)

With the entrenched backbone providers in the US not wanting to go with non-biased access to their networks, Google just pulled one of the biggest bluffs in telecom history. If they do win, then they control a massive portion of the spectrum that could be used for a national network. On the other hand, if they lose, they have to rules changed to favor consumers and suddenly have been a legit threat in the wireless space. What happens when Google activates all the dark fiber they've been buying up? Suddenly, the telecom industry doesn't look so happy after all.

Re:the bluff (1)

jesse285 (1145913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21814844)

Well I think that this would be a good thing on insights in this world, to give us a change to talk and help keep the peoples in good standing. Your can share a lot with peoples who have good insight.

Re:the bluff (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21814886)

what are you talking about? this is one of the worst things to happen in 2007 []

Re:the bluff (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21814924)

ignore tinyurl, it is just a minicity link, i dont see anything evil about minicity, just seems like something a child would play with...

Re:the bluff (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21815248)

Who are you to tell me what link to follow, or not? Do you believe yourself to be some kind of internet arbitrator?

If I want to contribute to the future of a city I will. I pride myself in being one of Fohootvil's leading citizens and get an overwhelming sense of pride every time I follow a Fohootvil link and I see how well our wonderful city is progressing. In your city, do they have crime and corruption? Pollution? Noise?

We don't in Fohootvil. Through an aggressive cutting edge pre-screening we ensure that our leaders are well fit for the task and with our transparent open government all their decisions are visble to all Fohootvil citizens. Nothing under the table. Not in Fohhotvil. And, as you can see, it pays off with an ever advancing population that drives out fair city toward the future. Good Christian Commerce is available at all hours of the day thanks to our devoted shopkeepers.

Every amenity, every need, completely satisfied.

So relax a little. Come visit Fohootvil on you next link following adventure. We'll be waiting.

Re:the bluff (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21815394)

i live about 5 miles outside a small town, my closest neighbor is about a mile away, i had enough of big city life and want no part of civilization other than then occasional trip to the grocery store, so stick that in your rolling papers and smoke it...

cities = crime, traffic jams, too much noise, too many people packed in to small of a space...
minicity = stupid waste of time...

/rant | /not_a_troll

Re:the bluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21822262)

Oh please! On a typical Friday, how many 'mainstream' places are there to socialize at? I am not even talking non mainstream stuff like psytrance raves or like a reggae/jungle/dub gig. I'd take pollution and traffic jams any day over living in some isolated shitty suburb of suburb. No services, no public transport, no nothing, just you and the woods. Fuck that...

In all seriousness, people from urban areas tend to be a lot more laid back than ambercrombie wearing suburban kids. Suburban kids are full of shit.

Re:the bluff (2, Interesting)

kundziad (1198601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21816372)

Fohootvil doesn't exist.

* * *

This sort of practice makes me think that Slashdot could employ some measures of retrieving the end server of the posted URL (i.e. after all the redirects).

The trouble is that spammers would quickly avoid using popular and easy to see through (i.e. preview the end URL) services like and instead use their own, more complicated, solutions. Would making the Slashdot engine follow the link and determine the end server, just as browsers do, be too CPU and bandwidth consuming? Especially that some redirecting services could link to an innocent and on-topic website for the first couple of minutes after posting the comment, just to fool /., and then start redirecting to a Web page like the Fohootvil thing.

Re:the bluff (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 6 years ago | (#21816246)

What a scumbag spammer. Can't we block this "Anonymous" guy? He posts lie 50 times on each thread and often he is spammy or rude. And does this guy ever sleep? Is he on slashdot every day all day? The same guy causes all kinds of trouble on other sites, too. I'm so sick of this "Anonymous" guy....

Re:the bluff (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21818542)

What a scumbag spammer. Can't we block this "Heembo" guy? He posts like 7 times on each thread and often he is spammy or rude. And does this guy ever sleep? Is he on slashdot every day like 15 hours a day? The same guy causes all kinds of trouble on other sites, too. I'm so sick of this "Heembo" guy....

Unknown but better (4, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21814846)

While it's unclear what it is that Google would like to do with the spectrum, what IS clear, is that it's likely to be advantageous to the consumer. Why, you ask? Because under the current system, a state-sanctioned oligopoly of companies have instituted a system of high prices and low quality of service, that is probably unsurpassed in any other industrialized nation. They have built their closed networks taxpayer subsidies, and are now in a position where they have repeatedly refused to upgrade their infrastructure or invest in any real upgrades, and would rather sit on their pile of gold and slowly reduce the quality of service as their customer base and demands expand. It's short-sighted, and harmful to virtually everyone. Entry of a new player will give the market a long-needed shakeup.

the logical thing would be... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21814852)

for google to do would be wifi internet and cellphone technology, not much else you can do with it unless they want to use some of it for inhouse two way radio, but two way radio would have no payoff so wifi & cellphone would make it worthwhile...

s/spend/bid/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21814950)

Those words are not the same.

I >3 apple (1)

yoshi2.0 (1199185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21814966)

oh apple.... where would I be without you 3

I <3 you apple

war of the titans (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21815068)

apple and google will soon be at odds forcing them into a geeky tech war!! []

Re:war of the titans (1)

MLease (652529) | more than 6 years ago | (#21820276)

Whoever came up with that damned myminicity concept should be tarred and feathered, boiled in oil and drawn and quartered. Then maybe some torture would be in order.

I wish there was a way to feed them negative clicks and wipe out their populations.


Telecommunications future. (5, Interesting)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21815104)

This is what we know about Google so far.
-bought lots of dark-fiber (is it still dark?)
-have portable data centers (you can disprove this with facts all you want, but I think they got the idea from Die Hard4)
-want to buy an extremely usefull chunk of the radio spectrum (that can handle high-bandwidth data)

Looks like a game of chess to me. All pawns are in place, just waiting for the Queen.

Re:Telecommunications future. (1)

old and new again (985238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21816548)

the protable data centres predates the movie by at least 2 years, sorry to break your bubble

Re:Telecommunications future. (2, Funny)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21818574)

Didn't you see Terminator 3? Judgment day is inevitable. Google is building Skynet.

DUNT FARGOT!!!!11!1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21822068)


Dey not teh MiKKKr0$$$loth, hoo be teh EVEL!!11!!1 Soes teh Googel kant be teh evel, cuz tehy not be teh MiKKKr0$$$loth!11!!1!!!!1!!!1!!1!!!!1one

if history tells us anything (5, Insightful)

bennini (800479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21815324)

google is going to attack the telecom industry much like it has successfully wrestled away power from all the other sectors it has targetted. and it will probably use the same strategy.

internet search used to be dominated by yahoo, microsoft and aol. google stepped in to offer a better, faster, simpler and cleaner solution.

email used to be dominated by yahoo and hotmail. google stepped in to offer massive amounts of storage space, aesthetics and ease-of-use.

access to global imaging was essentially non-existant for the typical person. google stepped in and brought google maps/earth with street level routing and images, and made it fun.

google's latest release in the mobile operating system market displays their plan to undermine Microsoft's existing Windows Mobile while MS sits on its butt not innovating. Sun/Java's new mobile platform has had no advertising, and the rest of the market is too busy competing between nokia/symbian, ericsson and the rest (i.e. motorola, etc). google's strategy, once again, involves bringing a new, better product to market and providing massive incentives to use it (in this case, being free and open).

their plans for the wireless spectrum can't be much different. a fiber backbone with wireless internet cloaking major cities, additional infrastructure for their mobile phone system which may eventually branch out to include massively subsidized Google-branded phones and internet devices....with the aspirations to entirely undermine the existing telecos and crappy mobile phone technology that is available in the US now.

Re:if history tells us anything (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21815568)

The only area that Google has been truly succesful in has been search. GMail is a major player, certainly, but most email users still run ISP-provided mail, and I don't even think that Google has captured a majority of the webmail space. Google's business philosophy on taking market share appears to be "Let's make efforts on lots and lots of potential markets, and see which pan out." This has had limited degrees of success, but look at the failed Google endeavors...

-Orkut. You'd think that this would be popular somewhere other then Brazil, given Google's apparent invincibility, but that hasn't happened yet.
-Picasa. The photo-sharing component has been essentially marginalized by Flickr, Photobucket, and others.
-Google Video. Lost to YouTube; Google responded by doing a buyout. Hardly brilliant technical innovation there.

Re:if history tells us anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21825170)

Sun/Java's new mobile platform has had no advertising

But Google is in love with Java... Java powers GMail and GWT. Java is a HUGE (in upper-caps bold) part of Android. You can either write 'native' Android apps in Java or Webapps that will work in Android's complete browser (i.e. with JavaScript, just like the iPhone)... And of course to write these shiny Webapps "iPhone/Android phones friendly" a very good way to do is to use GWT. So if Google's Android succeeds it is another major win for Java ("major" as in "it is impossible for you today to do any real-word money transaction without having Java involved at one point in the process").


Not a player till they really play (3, Interesting)

namityadav (989838) | more than 6 years ago | (#21815614)

As much as I like Google and want them to win the 700MHz auction and open a new platform for us to develop mobile applications that are 'really' useful, I won't call them a player in the telecom scene just because they are bidding in the auction. When they win the auction and provide the infrastructure (Alone or with partners), only then will they really be a player in the telecom field. We just have to wait and watch.

The newest stars ... (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21815742)

... released a handset (Apple) and said that they are gonna do something with cell phones (Google). Faint stars so far.

Re:The newest stars ... (2, Insightful)

reidconti (219106) | more than 6 years ago | (#21816264)

It's a sad world when a company making its first foray into a new market, releases a product that has features already found in that market, and which more-or-less just performs the way it's supposed to, is considered a star.

However, that is the sad world we live in. The mobile handset market in the US is such a disaster that the iPhone, despite not really having any specifically killer new features, is astounding. It simply works so much better than the other products already on the market that it doesn't need new features.

Then again, that's Apple's killer app -- making things that actually work the way everyone else merely SAYS their products do.

Google? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21815972)

Do I understand this correctly? Google is the media darling for saying they will be in an auction next year and they are rumored to be making a phone? How does this make them a darling? I thought they just made new and innovative ways for me to be innundated by advertisements.

Re:Google? (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21816024)

Beyond being rumored to make a phone, they also got a few of the industry players together and have announced a new entirely open source mobile platform (of which a preview is available). I'm not a big fan of designing platforms by committee, nor do I think that the next breakthrough in mobile usability is likely to come from a group that includes Motorola, but Google's participation is interesting and stretches beyond auction participation and steadily-denied "Google phone" rumors.

This should hav e happened a decade ago... (1)

syn1kk (1082305) | more than 6 years ago | (#21817866)

In a nutshell, the modern cellphone corporation's business model is meant to screw over it's users as best as possible while looking SLIGHTLY better than the competiting cellphone corporation.

To describe what I mean in a more rational sense: The current cellphone corporation is trying to maximize ARPU. For those who aren't in the know ARPU stands for "Average Revenue Per User". All the cellphone corporations even go so far as to have entire HUGE conferences that focus ENTIRELY on ARPU (or what I refer to as "screwing over it's users as best as possible"). See David Pogue's article that claims United States cellphone corporations are calcified, [] .


The thing that pisses me off most about the cellphone carriers is that they design all cellphones to make you use their proprietary services... or more technically, cellphone hardware is merely a tool that is leveraged to maximize ARPU.


Once cellphones become generic TCP / IP traffic riding on some standardized physical layer... that is when we will see innovation. If you were wondering what Google is trying to do... they are trying to achieve some sort of all TCP / IP wireless schema. That makes me very excited because it will mean your phone bill will disappear ( almost completely ) and you will only pay for some sort of internet service.

Re:This should hav e happened a decade ago... (3, Interesting)

syn1kk (1082305) | more than 6 years ago | (#21817906)

If you are wondering, "why would google want to provide the internet in a different form factor?" the answer to that question is: b/c when people have access to the internet they will use google --> using google means using google ads --> using google ads means lots of money going to google.

So yes Google is being selfish in wanting to provide internet for the masses because it means more money for their coffers, BUT at the same time having internet also means that you can use the internet... and plus its not like you HAVE to use Google when you have access to the internet.

Re:This should hav e happened a decade ago... (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824414)

I'm not a believer that Google is some sort of saint of a company that is trying to save the world, but I do think as a whole they see the value in creating business plans where they prosper by making choices that benefit not only their bottom line, but that also benefit their consumer as much as possible. This, in and of itself, isn't such a remarkable thing. After all, most people won't give away their money unless they feel they're getting a worthwhile benefit in return.

What's sort of unusual though, is that a lot of these big powerful corporations have decided that they weren't just happy with that, and in their undying need to create profits and "growth" have adopted plans that basically involve putting the screws to their customers, trying to trap them and squeeze out as much cash as is possible. This is particularly the case these days in the telecommunications industry, due to historically government created monopolies managing to talk their way out of the regulation that they should be subject to.

I guess the point is, Google's "do no evil" philosophy isn't really that much different than the way thousands and thousands of small businesses function every day all over the country/world. It's just a sorry situation we're everyone makes a big deal about it when a big wealthy company manages to keep some of that attitude, and how that seemingly straightforward approach to ones customers is seen as having such potential to redefine such an important industry.

Re:This should hav e happened a decade ago... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821336)

We should have ditched CDs long ago and we should have a la carte style cable service, ordering only those channels we wish, but none of this has happened yet either. For that matter, cars really haven't evolved much in 50 years either. If only 5% of industry would meet my desire for progress I'd be happy, but unfortunately capitalism dominates, thus keeping us mired in mediocrity for decades.

Re:This should hav e happened a decade ago... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821374)

The thing that pisses me off most about the cellphone carriers is that they design..

Stop right there.

Carriers do not design or make Phones. They take the phones made from Nokia, Motorola etc. and rebrand them. Sometimes they disable features (but smart consumers just reflash with the generic firmware anyway).

Once cellphones become generic TCP / IP traffic riding on some standardized physical layer...

All phones support TCP/IP. An increasing number have wifi etc. There are VOIP applicaitions freely available for most of them (with Nokias it's even built into the firmware). Google are doing nothing particularly new here, but their platform is certainly interesting, if only because it's totally open so is a good base for future innovation.

Re:This should hav e happened a decade ago... (1)

syn1kk (1082305) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821608)

"There are VOIP applicaitions freely available for most of them (with Nokias it's even built into the firmware). Google are doing nothing particularly new here": Yes there is VOIP applications available for cellphone hardware. The things Google speaks about probably have been offered in one form or another. However the difference is that Google will be offering a data service as the PRIMARY service. Offering a data service as their primary wireless service IS DEFINITELY something "particularly new here".

No Doubt! (1)

softdevs (1203042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938654)

No Doubt! software development []
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