Google asks for GoogleNet bids

34 Comments

Following up on my GoogleNet piece, Google is now seeking bids for a nationwide optical network. IP Media Monitor has details here. IP Democracy reports…

The vendors who have seen Google’s fiber network RFP say that the nature of the network can really only mean that Google ultimately hopes to push massive amounts of voice, video and data close to the end user.

34 Comments

robert Gonzalez

well my name is robert i work for a communications company that does fiber splicing and placing were currently contractors for Charter cable ,time warner cable and bright house networks were based in chatsworth ca,and can begin building your entire network from ground up

Bobby

Wouldn’t they want to have mesh wifi networks though so they could pinpoint exactly where that user was if they were mobile…or would they be able to do that with GPS?

Jesse Kopelman

Charlie, I continue to disagree with you while agreeing with many of the points you make. You are only telling one side of the story.

1) Europe is a factor. That is why AT&T Wireless and Cingular switched to GSM. That is also a reason why Cingular is holding off on UMTS — the European equipment needs 2100 MHz spectrum we don’t have yet in the US and they don’t want to pay a premium to get unique equipment.
2) WiBro equipment will most likely be fully WiMax compliant, yet it will be available in quantity long before anything equivalent.
3) I agree it would be hard to put together full coverage at 2.5, but so what. There are parts of the country that Cingular and Verizon still don’t cover despite having paid aggregate hundreds of millions to get all the licenses. You would be surprised at what is available in large markets. McCaw knows this and ClearWire is making good use of this “worthless” spectrum (again see Nextel and SMR, if a PITA can save you $5B it is often worth it). Huge swaths of 2.3 GHz are owned by non-carrier speculators who are just waiting for the right price.

As for 700 MHz: If you are a start-up carrier why invest in a low density national network when you would be better served building a competative regional network (see ClearWire)? 700 MHz is excellent for rural coverage, but in areas of higher population density you will run into the issue of having to split cells for capacity and this will aleviate the coverage gains. It is these high population areas where you will be paying $10/pop/MHz instead of $1, since the FCC will be going after the money and not auctioning national licenses. That’s the thing, regional licenses benefit the FCC more than anyone and that is why they are there. It is the same reason there are spectrum auctions instead of beauty contests (which would better serve public interest). Finally, you seem to be missing the simple point: “better” frequencies cost more money. When 2.3 was auctioned it went for pennies a POP because no one new what to do with it. 2.5 GHz has generally been given awayA 2.3 network is going to need more equipment, but the spectrum will be a lot cheaper than 700 MHz. In the end you will end up spending a similar ammount of money to get a fully built out network. Would you rather spend it upfront on spectrum, or as you grow on equipment?

Sprint is full of crap. Nothing I’ve said has anything to do with them and their 2.5 holdings other than to point out that they could be doing something with them right now if they chose, as opposed to sometime in the next 4 years.

Again, Charlie, it is not that your thoughts are wrong (I hope not because I agree with most of them) it is that they do not cover the whole picture. I’ll go back to the well one more time and point out that Nextel showed with SMR that a whole lot can be accomplished with spectrum most people considered “junk.”

Chris

While in-line with their other activities such as dark fiber purchases and the subsequent VPN offering, why hasn’t this RFP issue been discussed in the blogosphere to a greater degree and why people are focusing more on the VPN aspect.

Not questioning your sources, but just curious as to why this isn’t exploding everywhere given the implications of a “Google-Net”. Have you heard anything else?

Charlie Sierra

I’m rarely admonished for being confined to a box, often its the exact opposite. tic.

Points:
1) I don’t care much about Europe.
2) Asia is the center of innovation mostly because the countries are small, with high pop density and the mfg’s are THERE. Thus marketing experimentation (aka test marketing for readers in Rio Linda) is much easier. Btw, they still put the pants on one leg at a time (Om can you please verify this?). So BFD.
3) Earth to Jesse, Sextel owns the vast majority of these spectrum bands and they’re not selling (just stockpiling!!!, so its IMPOSSIBLE TO SWOOP IN), thus anybody looking to enter via the leftovers in the bands will have to use other bands to achieve national coverage. Which equals a huge PITA factor.

Frankly I’d not be surprised to see national licenses in the 700mhz range on the block. Regional licenses only benefit the incumbents, not the new entrants.

At 700mhz I get 4x-plus coverage per $$$ capex vs. 2.3ghz. And lets not forget that coverage is more important that signal density for a startup carrier.

So I stand (alone?), in saying that all the Sextel machinations are all show, and no go.

PS. If I can’t think for myself, then who is sending me these thoughts….
VBG.

Jesse Kopelman

Charlie yet again you are stuck “inside the box.” 2.3 and 2.5 are valueless only to those who can’t think for themselves. The problems at these bands are no greater than for any other. Every “new” band has incumbant users who have to be relocated. And barring special exceptions like what Crown Castle and Nextel got, every band will be broken up into multiple license areas. 2.3 and 2.5 do have distinct advantages that few talk about. 2.5 will be huge in Europe when it is released there (something you can’t say about 700, or even the traditional Cellular and PCS bands). 2.3 is already in use in South Korea, which seems like the place for innovation lately. The ability to use whatever cool new stuff they develope in SK immediately is a great feather in the cap of 2.3 GHz. Anyway, the very fact that so many people think 2.3 and 2.5 are worthless is all the more reason for Google to swoop in and get them while the getting is good (a la Nextel with SMR). Why pay auction prices when you can get it on the cheap? Other than your bias against certain bands and your strange jocking of going the auction route, I agree with your rant.

Charlie Sierra

Jesse, have you lost your mind.

2.3 and 2.5 is all show and no go.

The bands are useless for the reasons DG stated, etc. Furthermore Sprint nor TMobile are not using these bands, and NEVER will.

Starting next year we’ll see a mishmash of spectrum auctions. From 700, 1.4, 1.6/1.7, etc.

All of which basically make 2.3 and 2.5 worthless due to the extra capex and lower pop densities.

PLUS, PLUS, PLUS, none of the big three carriers is using more than 35% of their 850 and 1900 inventory.

Om,

I think Google has been raising capital, etc. and will be a bidder in next year’s spectrum auctions. Furthermore I predict that Google will attempt to get the big 3 barred from the new auctions precisely because the big 3 already have so much fallow inventory. Ah, damn those boys are smart.

So the question is, will Google be able to out do Craig McCaw’s Clearwire, and build the nation’s first new national wireless network?

Are the MSO’s paying attention…. Who are the dumbass consultants who said it would be toooo expensive?

Moore’s law tells that over time the capacity of a block of spectrum grows and grows. With a very modest nationwide 20mhz block, GoogleNet would bankrupt every RBOC, and Sextel. It would make the airline industry seem rational!!!

When it happens, please remember I said it first (and have been saying it here for quite some time). “Overcapitalization”, gosh I love the sound of that word, and as a wireless subscriber, I can only say to the carriers, “Payback is a bitch.”

Jesse Kopelman

DG, there are 493 PCS BTA and 51 MTA yet I don’t see Sprint or T-Mobile having a problem offering nationwide service in this band. As for the problem of existing transmitters in 2.5 GHz, there were thousands of PTP microwave users in the PCS band that needed to be relocated. The real problem with 2.5 is that Sprint owns most of the commercial channels. However, there are educational channels one can lease for commercial purposes so maybe that’s not such a big problem after all.

DG Lewis

Jesse writes, “A nationwide license at 2.3 or 2.5 GHz, both fine for mobility, would cost less than buying Skype.” Problem is, there are no nationwide licenses for 2.3 or 2.5 GHz. 2.3 is balkanized into 52 MEAs and 7 REAGs, each with two licenses, with licenses held by 16 different companies; 2.5 is even worse, with 493 BTAs, each with 11 channels, and thousands of existing transmitter licenses that need to be worked around.

sunnyvijay

Hi,

My reply is to Rick and Dave`s comments on thinking Google is US only.

But GoogleTalk is international for sure. I have been using this in India, and know friends who use this in England and Australia aswell.

Internet reach is Unlimited and GoogleTalk just follows it :-)

Vijay

Marina Architect

I love this news. Now when realized, this dark fiber coupled with WiMax will be truly “Do No Evil”. I don’t see Google becoming a protective telecom player. These Google guys are unique . . . remember the Playboy interview on the eve of their IPO: priceless.

Jesse Kopelman

Why even confine them to unlicensed wireless? A nationwide license at 2.3 or 2.5 GHz, both fien for mobility, would cost less than buying Skype. The could then use unlicensed to boost capacity in metro areas.

Charlie Sierra

…it could be built for under $100 million and launched in a couple of months…
—-
Om, do we need any more evidence that Telecom is dangerously OVER-capitalized and thus headed towards another painful collapse, or absent that outcome, consumers will get royally screwed to pay for the sins of this industry.

Rick

Can they build the network in unlicensed spectrum with Wimax/wifi? If so, you bet.

Fiber is not an option, because they are looking for mobility. Plus fiber is too expensive.

Simon

Om,

It is interesting to speculate about what (in the short term) Google is going to do with that capacity. The obvious items are a full VoIP offering and ISP. That just sounds…too obvious.

You mentioned that they had brought some land and were in talks with Apple. You have to wonder whether they are going to “host” a users music. Never have to worry about your computer crashing and loseing your music.

I also wonder if they are looking at a VoD play based around searching and TiVo like functionality. The time line in reports would probably match reasonably well with Apple’s probable launch of a video iPod. An Apple/Google partnership could be quite interesting.

I’m not sure the last mile would be a great problem. WiMax will probably solve that until they can put in fibre to the homes.

Any new ideas (or speculation) on their plans?

Rick

I had my entire family sign-up for Google Talk last night. I told them it wouldn’t be tied to the computer for long. Interesting that Google only offers GTalk in the US currently. Do they have a international user base? I really don’t know much about Google except it does good searches.

Comments are closed.