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Google Testing Infrastructure In Case It Wants to Become a Wireless Carrier

Google CellphoneThe Wall Street Journal has the latest on Google’s cellphone plans via its usual mix of industry analysts and “people familiar with the matter.” Apparently, Google has already erected transmission towers all over its headquarters and is operating an advanced high-speed cellphone network under a test license from the FCC. Prototype cellphones with Android software (Google’s previously announced mobile platform) are currently running on it.

The idea is that Google is actually considering building and operating a wireless network that would provide consumers an option that is faster and cheaper than the AT&T’s and Verizon’s. But, of course, this news comes with all the standard disclaimers revolving around the fact that it’s too early to tell what the search giant will really do.

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Even More Gphone News: Google in Advanced Talks with Verizon & Sprint

GphoneThe latest info from our good friends those “people familiar with the matter” is that Google is in advanced talks with two U.S. cellphone operators: Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel. The talks, of course, are revolving around the two companies offering new Google-powered mobile phones. Google has to get some major wireless operators to sign on to this project if it’s to reach its rumor-generated goal of getting Gphones in front of consumers by the middle of next year.

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Google Goes Mobile Even More, Now Wants to Sell You Stuff

Google MobileAccording to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), which cites its favorite source of “people familiar with the matter,” Google is working on a new search service for cellphones that will help consumers search for and buy ringtones, games, and other mobile content. Google has even considered including a “social-networking component” (whatever that means in this context). The new service sounds basically like Froogle, er, Google Product Search but for the cellphone.

Google already has cellphone versions for most of its popular services, including search, Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. But Google will now effectively broker the sale of mobile content (likely via Google Checkout), which would divert consumers away from the likes of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. Those companies have their own storefronts for selling you stuff, of course. And they get a significant chunk of such transactions.

Considering global sales of music, video, ringtones, and other mobile content was $27.4 billion last year (and growing rapidly), it’s no wonder Google wants in on the action. But when will the search giant work on what we really need?

My Two Months without Internet

Internet2The apartment complex I live in forces me to use whatever Internet connection the whole complex is on. Since I moved here last year, it’s been a local provider until that company went bankrupt. Service stopped on January 25. Not to worry, the apartment complex switched to using Verizon DSL. But that service went live on March 22.

I’m back in school getting my MBA while running TechConsumer. Here’s my story of doing both without Internet at home:

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