Google (GOOG) pushed the FCC to offer open wiresless access as a condition of bidding on spectrum in the next auction that will open more broadband wireless conduits. The idea is to unlock the hold that companies like AT&T (T) Wireless have on the cellular consumer. An open system should allow anyone to use any device that can connect over the newly opened airwaves. Beyond that, this allows consumers to download a broad range of applications.
But, Google wants to make sure that as many as possible of the applications running on handsets and available through cellular providers are its own. The company is in the midst of a huge campaign to get its software pre-loaded on handsets and marketed through carriers.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Google "is courting wireless operators to carry handsets customized to Google products, including its search engine."
Of course, if handsets come pre-loaded with YouTube, GMail, Google Talk, and Google search, and these phones are the hardware being pushed by the large cell service providers, the search company has the de facto squatter’s rights to the most valuable real estate on the wireless internet.
Open spectrum, but for devices pre-loaded by Google.
Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at email@example.com. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.