It seems that Google may not be content with merely playing a co-star in the mobile market presentation. Not even two weeks after the introduction of their Android operating system, and offers of $10 million USD in bounties for software, it seems that the Californian colossus is preparing a bid of $4.6 billion USD or more for a piece of the soon-to-be-free 700MHz wireless spectrum -- and what's more, they're apparently planning on making this bid on their own. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is working at a frantic pace to ensure that they will be prepared to declare their intent to bid on the 700MHz wireless spectrum to be put up for auction by the FCC in January 2008. Google's interest lies primarily in the open-access "C block" of the spectrum, a highly coveted section that could be enough to garner them a potential share in some of the $95 billion USD in revenue generated by US wireless carriers in 2007. According to inside sources, Android-powered handsets are already running on a 700MHz network (granted under a temporary FCC license) at Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. While Google has no background as a wireless provider, their vast networking background could no doubt allow them to quickly become a very significant threat to established US telecommunications companies. This is beneficial not just because of the fact that another potential carrier would be available, but from the nature of Google and the Open Handset Alliance's "mission statement" to make wireless communication more open, and to sidestep the problems of carriers charging for specific services or features. Of course, the plans for the 700MHz spectrum may be far beyond a simple mobile handset -- due to the ability of the frequency to travel long distances with relatively little power, it could be used to provide rural areas with broadband Internet access.
What plans Google has will unfold shortly, but with the sudden whirlwind of activity regarding mobile communications, executives at AT&T and Verizon -- two other major prospective bidders for the spectrum -- are no doubt more than a little worried about the prospect of the "gPhone" becoming a reality.