Google’s wireless moves are aplenty recently. The announcements keep coming and the direction couldn’t be clearer. Google will be a major force in wireless, and they see it as their next real growth engine. Just in the past couple days, Google has made major announcements about deals with Clearwire and the Apple iPhone. They also made the cut to participate in the upcoming 700 Mhz auction. Clearwire will begin migrating its current customers to a variety of Google Apps, including Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk. Google also announced an upgrade of its iPhone application suite. The suite, code named Grand Prix, provides a user friendly interface to Google services, including search, Gmail, Reader and Picasa. Google’s upgrade cycle for Grand Prix was unprecedented. The first iteration was released just six weeks ago. Google understands the importance of the iPhone. The New York Times reports that visits to Google from the iPhone outpaced all other mobile operating systems over the Christmas holiday, despite the fact that it only represents 2% of smartphones worldwide.
Google’s intention for the 700 Mhz auction are unclear. Some analysts believe they are there to just ensure the “open access” mandate for the C block spectrum is maintained. Google has said they will spend close to $5 billion for spectrum. Should they gain the spectrum, what will they do with it? Building their own wireless network seems far fetched. There has been speculation that they may team up with a foreign carrier, say NTT DoCoMo, to build the network. Perhaps they want to ensure there is a widescale network for their Android mobile operating system platform. Whatever the case, Google sees wireless as the next frontier for their business. More people will access the Internet by mobile devices in the future than do today via PCs. There will be billions of mobile ads to be served up and even more search queries. The moves we see today by Google are only precursors to their overall wireless strategy.