Thursday, March 20, 2008

It is not just about the outcome of the 700 MHz auction

The incumbents triumphed. The FCC collected $19.59, almost twice what they had projected. And nothing has really changed. Well, almost nothing...

Some deem Google's congratulatory message to the auction's winners as somewhat of a concession speech. I, however, am inclined to believe that the under performance of Google during the 700 MHz spectrum auction could not be accidental.

For one thing all of the upfront posturing and lobbying did help put conditions for an "open network" on the much coveted C block.

The Google threat probably also caused the large incumbents to dish out more cash than they would have had to otherwise. Google did bid $4.6 Billion early during the auction. At the end Verizon wound up dishing out a whopping $9.63 Billion, while AT&T dished out $6.64 Billion.

There could also exist the realization on the part of Google that the best way forward for Android is not through a mobile network of its own (i.e., limited devices), but rather through collaboration with the incumbents. This would potentially, and depending on how smart it continues to play the game, give it a much wider footprint.

So rather than being disappointed I'd much rather focus on the promising changes this whole melodrama has brought about:

1. Various operators, including Verizon, have expressed the acceptance of Android
2. AT&T and Verizon announced a move towards open access
3. This week Verizon hosted its first and historical open development conference
3. Verizon released its first open access device specifications today

Let's keep in mind that just one year ago these events were simply unimaginable.

Verizon does deliver after all

Verizon's Open Development Conference did get off to a start after all... (Web site and all)

By now, the 2nd day of the conference, the much anticipated device specs must have been unveiled. At the same time Verizon has promised that the requirements "will not be burdensome".

More to come later...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Incumbent Beware

One might expect that especially given the recent announcement of Google's I/O Web Forward open source conference during which Android will likely take the front stage, Verizon Wireless would be building some serious buzz around its own Open Development conference.

Rule number one: make sure that the main link on your press release works!! Yup, you know that link that points to all of the details about the thing you are announcing? Make sure the page is up especially if the conference is only but two days away (and the hot shot new entrant is stealing your thunder)!!!

So much for the anticipation... Hmm... although perhaps someone got an early start on that maintenance window...

On the other hand, here are the deets on Google I/O:

When: May 28-29 2008
Where: San Francisco @ West Moscone
Early Bird registration is $300
Attendee Registration is $400
And they even have the very generous gesture to offer student passes for just $50 each.

Why? (as if a reason was needed) An opportunity to see all of the best of Google's developers talk about all of Google's development platforms. Need I say more?

Regarding Verizon's open development conference, which is supposed to start this week on the 19th, I've been combing the Web for details today without much success. As soon as I find more information I'll be sure to post it.