From time to time, speculation arises about whether any of the four leading "Internet" firms in the U.S. market (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon) would seriously examine ownership of a branded mobile network. Half of those firms already are in the smart phone business, three are in the tablet business and Facebook, off and on, is rumored to be considering producing its own smart phone.
So is Google, for example, looking at owning a wireless network? "I'm sure we will discuss this," says Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. That doesn't necessarily mean Google will act.
But Google appears to believe that abundant spectrum could become a reality. If that happens, the barriers to a branded Google mobile service would seem less formidable.
"The current spectrum shortage [currently facing the mobile industry] is real, but it's an artifact of a licensing and regulatory error," said Schmidt. "New technology allows there to be lots of spectrum, far more than you could use."
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