I've had several interesting conversations over the last couple of weeks regarding Google's (GOOG) future. With all of the buzz circulating about the Google Phone and Google's intention to bid on FCC's 700mhz spectrum January 17th, Google, more than ever, seems to be positioning itself as the worlds gateway to fast, free, anywhere, any time information.
Google hopes to dominate the mobile search industry as they have the in the traditional/desktop search world. With Google search, comes Google Advertising. Last Tuesday, Google announced that AdWords advertisements will begin appearing on mobile search results, which will eventually be great for advertisers, but the amount of people using mobile search vs. traditional search is minuscule.
How can Google go about getting more people to use adopt internet-enabled mobile phones and utilize Google search?
Simple: Give people free internet.
The Free Mobile, Advertising-Supported Internet
Is a free, Google AdWords supported mobile internet a possible reality? Of course it is.
Let's take a look at traditional television. Network television is a free service distributed over airwaves to people all over the country, monetarily supported by advertising dollars.
Think of Google Internet as broadcast television from 60 years ago. Google has done it's homework and has realized that by building a large, free internet service, the uptake of it's new service by consumers will be so huge that they will ultimately make more via advertising dollars.
Is There A Down Side?
There is, of course, a potential downside to a free internet service. In this model, Google controls when and where those advertisements are seen. I think that there is a real possibility that Google could/would insert advertisements into every facet of your internet experience.
What if Google began injecting AdWords advertisements into Web pages that didn't have any advertising to begin with? This is an interesting concept and one worth discussing.
Hurry Up and Wait
Of course, all of this is speculation at this point. Google has yet to confirm anything other than the fact of their intention to bid on the spectrum. They have made no official statements on their intended use of the spectrum. They have not publicly confirmed the existence of the Google Phone, although at this point there is too much evidence that such a phone is in production.