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Google patent could revolutionise mobile contracts


Google`s future plans for the mobile sector have been revealed by a recently published patent filing.

The filing, originally lodged back in March 2007 but only just published, describes how `devices, systems and methods` would poll wireless services close by to find the best value data or voice connection. The connection could be to one of several local telecoms carriers, to a wifi hotspot or to a WiMax provider.

The user of the portable communications device can elect to manually set the connection, or leave the device to automatically hook up with the cheapest provider.

Ultimately, this could spell the death knell for cell phone contracts as we know them, as market forces take over to decide which carrier to switch to on a continual basis.

Analysts are saying that if the switching technology works well, and can be effectively protected by IP law, then it could be a very disruptive technology.

Of course, there would be some considerable resistance from the powerful bloc of existing carriers and successful implementation of the concept would require software that is virtually ubiquitous across handsets.

But then Google is nothing if ambitious, and with the launch of Android and the Google-branded GI mobile phone there is some understanding in which direction those ambitions lie.


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