Google looking to free handsets from carriers

Google is interested in producing a technology that will enable users to have an open mobile device that searches for cellular networks in range, much like WiFi devices currently sniff out hotspots, according to a patent the company filed in 2007 that was released this week.

The concept, called "Instant Bid," allows users to effectively end the system in which handsets are tethered to a single wireless network, and may be geared more toward prepaid cell phone users who do not have long-term contracts with carriers.

Google has said that the idea may amount to nothing, but with the Android software and the G1 device promising open application development, as well as Google co-founder Larry Page's push to get white-space freed up for unlicensed wireless applications, the idea of "open" at Google seems to be gaining steam.  

For more:
- see this article
- click here to see the patent

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