Google Phone Rumors Build

Consumers would trade free minutes for targeted advertising

By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 29, 2007 7:12 PM CDT

(Newser) – Consumers may soon be able to trade free phone calls for targeted advertising, if Google gets its way. Industry experts speculate that the tech giant is quietly developing plans to market cell phones with an ad-based service in exchange for free minutes, BusinessWeek reports. The big wireless carriers, while privately haunted by the idea, are publicly nonplussed.

“We don’t believe in a world where you have to give everything away for free,” sniffs an AT&T spokesman, a premise Google is banking on. But BusinessWeek says it faces several hurdles: possible customer resistance to nagging advertisements, and the $4.6 billion price tag to secure a swath of the radio spectrum that would allow it to offer phone service.

Large cell carriers are worried about a possible project by Google, a theoretical ad-based and otherwise free cellphone service.   (Getty Images)
Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs uses Google Earth on the iPhone. Industry insiders say that Google has been shopping around a top-secret prototype phone of their own, operating on their traditional ad-based...   (Getty Images)
Both Google and advertisers see dollar signs in the growth potential of wireless. "The sheer volume of users across the globe makes mobile the next channel for information," says Dilip Venkatachari,...   (Getty Images)
This photo illustration provided by Diebold Inc. shows how a new technology would integrate a customer's cell phone with an ATM machine. Diebold and NCR Corp., long the key players and competitors in...   (Associated Press)
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One Vlogger speculates on the potential for a Google Phone.   (marshallpeck (YouTube))

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