Google finally got what it wanted--access to a broadband network to realize its dream of transferring it dominance in online advertising into the wireless broadband world. By making a sizable investment in the new Clearwire--a deal that also includes Sprint, three cable operators and Intel--Google becomes the default search engine for the new WiMAX operator and guarantees a home for the Android platform all without having to sink billions in building out its own network.
Cracking the wireless broadband market has actually taken a few years for Google. Google had big hopes in 2005 and 2006 that muni-WiFi was going to be the wireless broadband opportunity it was looking for. Pundits had speculated Google was poised to blanket the U.S. with free WiFi in order to become one of the globe's largest Internet providers and one of the powerful ad sellers. That strategy didn't pan out as the muni-WiFi market hit a shakeout.
Then the 700 MHz auction came along, and Google lobbied heavily for open access and plunked down the minimum required to trigger the open access provision. Though the search giant got what it wanted, that still didn't guarantee Google would become a dominant force.
Lately the company has been pushing heavily for unlicensed white-space spectrum, and while it appears the FCC likes the idea, there is significant opposition due to fears of interference, which could significantly draw out the process.
The question now is, is Google happy with what it got or will it continue to find more ways to transfer its services in the wireless world?--Lynnette