Google’s entry into the wireless industry has everyone up in a tizzy, but all this hype means nothing if Google can’t get wireless operators to back their new mobile platform. All the best software in the world means nothing if you can’t get it in the consumer’s hand. Well, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that sources have indicated that Sprint and Verizon are in late-stage, “advanced” talks with the Mountain View, CA.-based search giant to bring the new Google Mobile OS to the US.
But, here’s the thing – Verizon Wireless was previously at odds with Google over the upcoming FCC 700Mhz frequency spectrum auction in January 2008. As you’ll recall, Google had successfully pushed through an “open-access” provision for the upcoming auction – provisions that Verizon Wireless sued the FCC to overturn. Interestingly, Verizon recently dropped their case against the FCC. We’re not sure if Verizon decided to drop their case in return for favorable licensing terms from Google, but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilty.
Google is still trying to figure out how to deal with security and revenue sharing – and a deal with Sprint or Verizon is not a sure bet. We’ll have to wait and see how these deals pan out. If Google successfully signs the No. 2 and No. 3 US wireless carriers to carry their mobile platform, the search-giant could make a big splash in the mobile pool.