I doubt many people will be surprised to hear that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) wasn’t devastated about losing the spectrum auction, and co-founder Larry Page has confimed that in a talk hosted by the New America Foundation by saying that Google never intended to become a wireless carrier: “It’s not our core business,” Page said, saying that Google was interested in expanding its mobile services business rather than competing with existing telcos. “We have other things to do…Organizing the world’s information is a big task.” The article also mentions Google’s $500 million investment in WiMax, with Page saying he was excited it was “open” and wanted to support it, reports Forbes.
The overall tone is that Google wants the wireless networks to be open, on the assumption that more mobile/wireless devices will use its applications if that is the case. It just happens to be in an almost unique position where — even though it doesn’t want to build and run a network — it can if it has to.
Page is in Washington to try and convince regulators and lawmakers to let it use the white spaces spectrum in between TV channels. “Google would like to see an independent “band manager” organize spectrum use in the U.S. The entity, which could be run by a governmental body, such as the FCC, could oversee continuous, dynamic purchases of spectrum, suggests Page…The new system, argues Page, would be more efficient and profitable and allow users to hop online using whatever frequency promised the fastest connection at that particular minute. “The government could make a lot of money auctioning spectrum off every second,” he noted, comparing it to the way Google auctions individual keywords for advertising.” Personally, I’m not sure how that would work, especially since users would need devices that could connect to a wide range of spectrum.