Tag Archives: AT&T
Chrome OS on the Verizon network? We would have speculated this even prior to TechCrunch reporting that some 3G UI testing is being done in Chromium OS that makes reference to Verizon in some of the documentation. Under Issue 3900 UI for 3G Connectivity which requires provisioning, connection management, usage management, billing & payments and cancellation we can see that the wireless company is referenced.
Last week, Google and Verizon jointly release an “agreement” on net neutrality. That’s quoted because the FCC may want to have a say on these matters as well. This is in addition to the fact that Verizon has seen a good amount of success with the Android platform. Remember, prior to having Google’s smartphone operating systemVerizon had been hawking crappy Windows phones that made time stand still they took so long to use.
But come on, 3G? I guess that means no 4G for Chrome OS this year. Verizon and AT&T are testing it, while Sprint and Clear have it available in select markets right now. Regardless, in order for Chrome OS to work, it’s got to be able to be consistenly connected, and that’s going to require the help of wireless carriers.
Tricia Duryee of PaidContent is reporting that the major mobile phone carriers who have Android phones have a deal with Google to share revenue. Not just any revenue of course – but the kind that comes from search engine advertising. Not a shocker, then, when you see search being prominently featured on Android phones. And it isn’t just because Android was developed by Google, but because the carrier providing service for that phone has a stake in the mobile advertising market that Google is trying to enter.
To be sure, it is not that easy right now to make money in mobile advertising. But as the user experience for smartphones improves (a la Android) and the technology gets better, I’m sure the major carriers realize that advertising that is running through their “pipes” will someday prove to be uber-profitable.
Consider Google’s acquisition of mobile advertising firm AdMob for $750 million, which is still awaiting regulatory approval. The amount of money involved in the deal, and the technology that AdMob brings, is surely convincing to the mobile networks that this could be a massive money machine for everyone involved. While Google is the expert on search advertising, AdMob will bring its experience in web display and app display ads to the table, which could be later added to a partnership deal with carriers if it hasn’t been already.
It may already be part of it, since Duryee’s article also says that carriers get a piece of the Android Market revenue that is coming in, and that has to be growing.
And let’s not forget the fact that Google is trying to change the way we buy mobile phones. Instead of choosing a carrier and then deciding on a phone, they want us to pick out a phone and then choose a carrier. Hence the reasoning for a powerful Google phone like the Nexus One. Consider the options table when you go to purchase Google’s phone:
The same will soon be said for Chrome OS hardware, may that be a netbook or tablet. We will most likely lust after the best specs that Google knows we want and then choose where our connectivity for that device will come from. There will be a choice of carriers – much larger than this example above if they are interested in lucrative ad profits.
So is the Nexus One really a failure it has been said to be? Probably not. This is a trial run to see how Google can perform in the hardware market, and the fact that the carriers are making money from Google Search, and possibly other things in the future like Google Apps, will give them cause to keep quiet while Mountain View tries to change the dynamics of the wireless industry.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is working with DISH Network in testing a variation of their search algorithm that is customized specifically for TV. Since the WSJ site is for subscribers only, we have analyzed AppScout’s article for this post.
I’m currently a DISH customer, and I must say that the ability to find programs that you want to watch is ridiculously hard. Sure, it’s easy if you know the name of the show you are looking for, but finding one in terms of content or detailed subject matter is just not very easy. This seems to be a common theme for cable/satellite operators, as I’ve been told by someone who is a customer of AT&T’s more advanced UVerse system there is no drilled-down search capabilities in their system either.
The problem with traditional satellite and cable TV search functionality is that there really is no way to do any type of contextual search. Sure, one can look for a show title or a genre, but there isn’t really a way to drill down to actors, studios and specific content of a program. For those of us who are used to using internet search engines to find things easily, this presents a problem to the more traditional environment of television.
That’s why I think Google testing this could potentially be a win for TV. Many people are switching their video tastes to YouTube or Hulu, so these operators need to do something drastic to continue to attract younger customers. Plus, DISH Network is not one of the top tier providers. So, much like T-Mobile starting out early providing Android devices which resulted in them getting the first crack at the Nexus One smartphone, this could benefit DISH as a content provider.
What DISH Network should really do is drop their proprietary set-top box operating system and use a customized version of Chrome OS. Why not? It would probably be a faster experience, and the architecture would provide better user interaction and interoperability with the web. The problem has been that cable and satellite companies have wanted to keep these two realms apart, but expect to see them converge more often then not in the future.
What exactly is it that Google likes so much about T-Mobile? Once again, as when Android first hit the wireless market, T-Mobile is the flagship wireless carrier for Google. This time it is for the newest Android phone, the Nexus One, which is made by HTC and sold officially by Google.
It started back in 2008 when Android was in its infancy, and yes that was really not too long ago. T-Mobile was the only wireless company that was willing to carry something new and somewhat revolutionary like the G1, also made by HTC. No one except Google one wanted to try to compete with Apple, and the reality is that the G1 was kind of an ugly phone. Although you could do some cool things with it, and Android was open source, the general feeling was that development-wise Android was not ready for prime time.
Well, now it is. And T-Mobile, which is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, is reaping the benefits from that earlier partnership. If you don’t opt for the $179 Nexus One with a two year plan, the “unlocked” phone will cost $529. But because the phone is set up for GSM, you can only use it with T-Mobile or AT&T. With Nexus One on the AT&T network, the phone can only operate at EDGE data speed, which is not as fast as the 3G on T-Mobile. This is because the two networks operate on different frequencies. Oh yeah, and it only works in the U.S.
So T-Mobile is the one who is benefiting from the decision to launch Android in the first place. Will there be other versions that will cater to other wireless carriers? There is supposed to be in the spring. We’ll see whether Google decides to make versions that cater to each carrier or not. Whatever the case, it’s interesting to see that Google is selling this phone on their own website instead of T-Mobile’s. There is a strategy in play here behind the reason to do that.
Bottom line? Expect this to be a trial run on how Google plans to release a netbook with Chrome OS. If the Nexus One is successful, I would expect Google to sell a Chrome OS netbook on their own and offer service plans from the wireless carrier of the users’ choice down the line. Intially I would expect T-Mobile to get the first crack at selling wireless data plans to subsidize the netbook’s cost as well.
So, when is Google just going to be billing for data service as well?
This was first reported by IBTimes yesterday, and now other outlets are reporting that the first GoogleBook (yes, it’s the best name I could come up with) will be machine that is very competitive in the netbook market and will be sold at a very affordable $300 price range. The specifications that are being reported include:
-NVIDIA Tegra chip and an ARM CPU, which is integrated
-64GB solid-state hard drive
-2 GB RAM
-10.1 inch 1,280 x 720 HD multitouch display
-Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth
-USB ports, headphone jack
This is a pretty impressive set of features. The reports don’t indicate who is going to be making it, but it’s clear that if this device is going to be sold for $300, wireless carriers are going to have to subsidize the cost with what may be a hefty data plan. But being locked into a contract for two years or so might work for a netbook this powerful. It may not necessarily be a bad idea for this type of gadget to adopt the wireless phone/smartphone life cycle. I think that in order for this to be successful, it needs to be as simple or even more simple than using a phone to keep users interested in this product.
At this point, I would be curious to know how much carriers would charge in a GoogleBook data plan. This is because there have been rumors of wireless carriers like AT&T setting up tiered plans for wireless data as they currently do for voice based on data’s popularity with smartphone, especially the iPhone.
The plan is still to have the GoogleBook out by Christmas 2010, just in time for the impending 4G rollout. In order for this technology to be able to fully embrace a thin-client cloud computing architecture, 4G is probably going to be a necessity for this device to succeed.