|When the big four cellular companies decided to hike the price of sending a text message, they all managed to settle on precisely the same increase.
Scott Woolley, Text Message 15 Cents
Even if the incumbent cell carriers end up buying a big chunk of the spectrum, their freedom to set prices freely will change. That’s thanks to the deft political maneuvering of Google. At Google’s request the FCC decreed that a third of the airwaves at auction (ones between 15 and 15.8 inches in length) must be used in “open” networks. Open networks let the people who use the network, not the people who build it, choose what applications to run or what mobile devices to use. To that end Google recently announced plans for open cell phones, which could run any application, and AT&T and Verizon Wireless have committed to opening their networks.