Even the Wall Street Journal can’t help but to write a fluffy, speculative piece about Google and the possibility that the company might bid for a piece of the cellphone spectrum. Looks like everybody is jumping on the bandwagon, but let’s take a close look at this piece.
The WSJ takes the fact that Google operates a free Wi-Fi network in Mountain View as evidence. Well, I guess that means that CBS is in the race for the spectrum auction as well:
Google, meanwhile, already is running a test version of an advanced wireless network at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, gaining operating experience that could come in handy if it wins the spectrum and decides to run a full-scale national mobile carrier, according to people familiar with the matter.
Is there really much you can learn about being a cell carrier from providing free Wi-Fi? I am ‘not familiar with the matter’ but I can’t help but think that there is a slight little difference between free Wi-Fi and running a cellphone network. If not, my neighbor would be doing it.
The rest of the evidence is similarly weak:
Android Software? Microsoft doesn’t make cell-phones.
Sells ads on Web sites accessed by phone? Makes you an ad company, but not a phone carrier.
Testing a wireless network at HQ? Good business practice, but no evidence for a nationwide roll-out.
Google isn’t a hardware company and it sure isn’t a cellphone carrier. Why would it get into this messy business? Apple wisely decided against it. I am sure Google will as well.
A STRONG SIGNAL
Google’s wireless initiatives could eventually lead to a national network.
• Developed Android software for mobile phones.
• Made Google applications — including email, chat and mapping — available on cellphones.
• Sells advertisements for certain Web sites accessed by cellphone.
• Enables users to do Web and business searches with cellphone browsers, by text message or with a call.
• Is testing an advanced wireless network at Google headquarters.
• Operates a free Wi-Fi network in Mountain View, Calif.
Looks like the WSJ isn’t above some Valleywaggish writing either…