Google's Grand Mobile Ambitions

[qi:022] The Wall Street Journal’s report about Google’s big mobile plans is one that covers all bases, and leaves you where you started from: scratching your head. The Journal says Google may or may not buy a carrier; invest in a carrier; partner with a carrier, and/or may bid for spectrum. Aka, anything is possible. Most of this speculation has been already done the rounds. One new thing WSJ reports that is of interest:

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.

They are using this network, under license from FCC, to test prototype devices that use Android mobile OS. That network is interesting for sure, but to go from a tiny network to owning-and-operating a humongous nationwide consumer-centric wireless network needs a big leap of faith,especially for Google investors. But then last week, A-Fraud returning to Yankee Stadium was as likely as waking up to armageddon.

Other notable facts from the WSJ story:

* Google has invested in femtocell maker Ubiquisys
* Google has discussed possibly investing in Clearwire Corp.

So what do you think: will Google buy a carrier, bid for spectrum or do nothing?

Related: Should Sprint send Silicon Valley a Super Poke?

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