Open 4G Networks

While rumors continue to boil about gPhone and a Google operated mobile 4G broadband network available for wholesale use through online auctions, real progress beyond the gossipsphere appears to be emerging from the Web stalwart's fight in DC to bring openness to mobile and create the Open Mobile Web...

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin apparently is about to circulate proposed auction rules to his fellow commissioners, and we're hearing through the proverbial grapevine that his proposal includes several of the open platform conditions we have recommended.

The open platform condtions include:

    • Open applications : consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
    • Open devices : consumers should be able to utilize a handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
    • Open services : third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
    • Open networks : third parties (like internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at a technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee's wireless network.

While I commend Google's efforts to help the FCC evolve to support other alternative business models—those clearly needed for the Mobile web to take off—perhaps it's nonetheless not too far-fetched to assume 4G efforts by Clearwire and Sprint will embrace the Internet model over gardens regardless of the disruptive effort...