Google Voice Takes Center Stage With Verizon, ATT, and Apple

Google, Verizon, ATT, and Apple.  Mark today's date as the start of a turning point in the wireless war.  At the center, whether Googled figured it to be or no when they bought GrandCentral, is Google Voice.


Short history.  FCC started looking into device exclusive deals between handset makers and wireless providers such as the iPhone deal between Apple and ATT.  Then, Apple rejected Google Voice (GV) And things soured and the FCC decided to looking into why GV was rejected and issues about net neutrality.


Here is where things turn today for all mobile warriors, the wireless providers, handset makers, and the government.  Google and Verizon Wireless (VW) announced their partnership to bring Android devices to Verizon's "open network" where even Google Voice will be supported.


Trust me.  That's significant.  Google has to believe VW will stick to its word or else Google end up looking like a hypocrite. A while back, Google fought VW to make sure that there are open access provisions in the 700Mhz auction.  VW eventually won part of the auction.  But for a while, VW and Google were not on speaking terms.


Hence, today's joint announcement between bitter rivals was significant.  A lot of press and blogger attention was dedicated to this.


Then the second part of this wireless chronicle happened.  Washington Post posted that ATT maybe opening up its network to VOIP and Google Voice around the same time Google and VW's press conference was going on.  A couple of hours later, this was all over blogosphere.   One would figure ATT would be approached about this and a "no comment" would be issued.


Folks were excited.  Then it happened.  In a press release online, ATT confirmed "it has taken the steps necessary so that Apple can enable VoIP applications on iPhone to run on AT&T’s wireless network".  No mention of Google Voice and that is what folks are going to be wondering about.  Does this change anything between Apple and Google?


Meanwhile, Apple has indicated they will amend their developer agreements for the inclusion of VOIP apps while Skype welcomed the move.


Don't think this has anything to do with Google Voice?  GV might not be a VOIP app but the larger issue is whether we will have open wireless networks going forward.


Consider how appropriate this is, I'm watching the first two episodes of Season 9 of The X-Files titled "Nothing Important Happened Today".  The title was a reference to the diary of King George.  Before he went to bed, his entry for the day was "nothing important happened today".  That day was July 4, 1776.


Okay, maybe this isn't exactly like the declaration of independence by the American colonies but in the world of wireless, this significant all the same.

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