Could Google kill the cell phone industry?
Great question. And I think the answer is yes.
Over at the Official Google Blog, Chris Sacca tells us that Google is going to bid on the 700MHz wireless spectrum... and that they want to ensure the spectrum is sold with four conditions in order to "promote a spirit of openness" which would, in turn "spur additional forms of competition from web-based entities, such as software applications providers, content providers, handset makers, and ISPs." Oh, and Google is committing $4.6 billion for when the federal government opens the bidding. Why $4.6 billion? Because $4.6 billion is evidently the reserve price for the spectrum, and Google wants the U.S. government to know that by making it open, the spectrum is as valued as it would with closed and proprietary systems operating in it. Actually, the folks at Google think that by being open, the spectrum will actually be more valuable than if it were closed.
Pretty soon, Google is going to own it all... If I'd only bought Google stock when it first went public.