According to an article on the website of New Scientist, Google [GOOG] has more telephony tricks up its sleeve besides its Android phone OS. In fact, a patent filed in 2007 was published this week that shows Google investigating “instant bid” technology for wireless connections.
How’s it work? When your phone wants to initiate a call, it broadcasts a request for a connection from its radio. All available networks automatically return a list of price offers for the service of making your call. Presumably, networks with more traffic would bid higher, and networks needing traffic would bid lower, and your smarty-pants phone would choose the lowest bidder. This would all take place outside the realm of phone contracts or monthly service plans, of course; it’s pay-per-call.
That’s what makes Google’s idea so unlikely to come to pass. As much as we all love open platforms, the telecom companies don’t. As Google told New Scientist, “”We file patent applications on a
variety of ideas that our employees come up with. Some of those ideas
later mature into real products or services, some don’t.” Still, it’s nice to dream that someday, mobile phone service could have mechanisms for getting less expensive and enslaving, not moreso.