Now that Google has officially announced that it will bid on the 700MHz spectrum, most of us are speculating about the possibilities. And while I have my own beliefs about where Google will go with the spectrum, I'm sure many of you have your own.
But regardless of where you stand on this issue, one thing remains certain: the future of the technology industry is currently being shaped by high-paid Google lawyers and accountants who are working out the details of this auction.
Simply put, we're on the precipice of something groundbreaking that will change this industry forever. Whether it will be good or bad is unknown, but regardless of the long-term effect, Google has its sights firmly planted on this 700MHz spectrum and if you ask me, we won't even know what hit us.
The cell phone scenario
As you are probably aware, I'm a firm believer that the major reason for Google getting into this auction is to capitalize on the spectrum's unique ability to travel through walls and buildings all over the country. And along those lines, there is no reason to suggest that this wireless spectrum can't be used with cell phones.
Here's the scenario: Google scoops up the 700MHz spectrum and works on it for (as most experts claim) about the next five years. During that time, the company continues to promote Android and bring more cell phone companies on board.
Next, the company will secretly tell the manufacturers that it's working on a new platform that will allow any Wi-Fi-equipped cell phone to connect to Google's Wi-Fi platform and make phone calls through VoIP.
After that, it'll announce that Apple and Google have partnered to create an iPhone designed specifically for the Google spectrum, and immediately the other manufacturers will jump on board so as to not be left behind.
Totally unbelievable? Think again: Apple and Google are incredibly close (Eric Schmidt sits on Apple's board of directors) and Google has always wanted to find a way to take down the companies who have attempted to block its opportunity to bid on this spectrum--cell phone carriers. Also, did you notice that Verizon Wireless has not signed on to Android? I certainly don't think that's a coincidence.
In my mind, the future of the cell phone industry is in doubt. And to make matters worse, current cell phone carriers have no way idea what consumers want and are practically asking us to get up and go. I think Google will be the reason we finally do.
My prediction: Google destroys the cell phone industry as we know it today.
The free Wi-Fi scenario
Now that we know the 700MHz spectrum is easily the most viable solution to getting free Wi-Fi all over the country, why wouldn't Google offer it to us for free? After all, doesn't it fit well within its strategy as a company that promises that it won't "be evil" and currently offers its solutions for free when supported by advertisements?
In fact, I would go so far as to say that Google will not only offer free Wi-Fi, you might be accessing it before you know it. And if that's true, what would that mean to your current access to the Internet? Would it mean that current ISPs may have a serious problem on their hands? You better believe it.
A free Wi-Fi solution would change the current state of this industry more than we can calculate. Instead of creating devices that have an Ethernet port, each and every product will surely offer a wireless solution. And most of the products that currently do not connect via Wi-Fi to your home network (HDTVs, for example) will probably add that functionality in no time.
Can you imagine an industry where almost every single device is created for the sole purpose of working on a Google platform? Sure, it may be difficult to fathom at this point, but did anyone actually believe most devices would be made to work with Windows?
Google is well on its way to creating a groundbreaking solution that could catapult the technology industry ahead. And while some may believe the search giant will not be able to do anything of the sort, I'm not so cynical. Judging by the company's track record and its immense success in most of its projects, I can't believe it won't find a way to revolutionize the entire industry.