Google has filed a patent application for a technology that would let wireless devices instantly search for and acquire the least cost wireless service available to them at any given time. The Google scenario would play out like this – 1) a wireless phone, laptop, or some other device would sniff out all available wireless transmission services, announce its requirements, and request the best offer; 2) wireless service providers would then “bid” to fulfill the request; 3) the device would then select a winning “bidder” and initiate a wireless session. This process could be done automatically and would be seamless to the user, or the user could monitor and manage the process in real time. The patent application is entitled Flexible Communication Systems and Methods. The patent application abstract is as follows, “A method of initiating a telecommunication session for a communication device include submitting to one or more telecommunication carriers a proposal for a telecommunication session, receiving from at least one of the one or more of telecommunication carriers a bid to carry the telecommunications session, and automatically selecting one of the telecommunications carriers from the carriers submitting a bid, and initiating the telecommunication session through the selected telecommunication carrier.”
It’s an interesting approach, and one that could potentially turn the current wireless service business model on its head. Talk about an evolving competitive landscape. But its chances of becoming reality (at least in its current form) are slim to none. For it to become reality, existing wireless carriers would have to endorse it and risk their growing lucrative business model of wireless subscriptions. A model that currently generates billions in revenue for them. I would gently characterize the chances of them doing that as “zero.” But I’m sure Google knows that. This move probably has more to do with feeding the debate for “open networks” than hoping to capitalize on a patented technology or process. It’s similar to the strategy they pursued by participating in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction.
Read more about Google’s telecom ambitions.