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Google, Comcast, Intel Capital, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Trilogy Equity Partners have entered into an agreement to invest $3.2 billion in a new wireless broadband company. The new company will combine Clearwire's existing consumer WiMAX business with Sprint's broadband infrastructure and 2.5 GHz spectrum to create a new nationwide wireless broadband network. In addition to our $500 million contribution as part of the investment group, we will provide search and applications to the network's users, and will work with Clearwire to offer additional services and applications. This will include jointly creating an open Internet protocol to work with mobile broadband devices (including Android-powered devices) and implementing other open network practices and policies.
Google Invests With Partners in $3.2B Wireless Broadband Company [googleblog.blogspot.com]
Theoretically, competitors could block users on their networks from accessing Google's search engine and thereby starve Google of traffic & eyeballs for their advertisers... and choking-off Google's main revenue source... This strategic move will guarantee traffic for Google's search engine & protect their cash cow... (foremost amongst other advantages to be gained - imo)
As the former webmaster/tech support for what was perhaps the original 802.11 Wireless ISP (deployed in 1997 before "WiFi" was even coined, let alone WiMAX) which had conducted a pilot projects with Sprint and other major US & International carriers and presently an AdSense publisher, I suggested such a strategy to Google several years ago... I'm glad they decided to pursue this endeavor as it will lead to better quality mobile broadband service at affordable rates. EXCELLENT move Google!
"create a $14.55 billion communications company, to be called Clearwire"
Among my may little projects, I have been advising a group of real estate investors in a "rural" area (horse country, actually) on how to get broadband to their neck of the woods. My advice has been to wait, mostly because they were otherwise going to be banging their head against a wall. Now, with this, they have real hope.
Anyway, there is LOTS being written on this. This is one of the best overall overviews I have seen: