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  1. 1. 1 3 5 the google pHone Here comes Android, tHe open source operAting system tHAt will breAk tHe corporAte strAngleHold on tHe wireless web, mAke it fun to surf from your cell, And (oH yeAH) scoop up billions of dollArs in mobile Ads. by dAniel rotH illustrations by christian montenegro
  2. 2. "is tHis interesting to google?"” That’s what Andy Rubin was asking Larry Page. It was a spring day in 2005, and the two were in a conference room just off the main lobby at Google’s head- quarters. A simple yes and Rubin would have walked away happy. • They had met three years before, when Rubin was about to launch a smartphone he’d invented called the Sidekick. At the time, Google was just an up-and- comer, trailing AOL and even Lycos in traffic. But Rubin, a well-known Silicon Valley player, chose Google as the Sidekick’s default search engine. Page was flattered by the unexpected endorsement. So when Rubin called out of the blue and requested this meeting, well, Page couldn’t say no. • The Google cofounder arrived late, as usual. Rubin walked to the white- board and began his pitch. There were nearly 700 million cell phones sold each year compared with fewer than 200 million PCs—and the gap was widening. Increasingly, he said, phones were the way people wanted to connect with each other and with everything else. Yet the mobile indus- try was stuck in the dark ages. Unlike the Web, where open standards had fostered a multitude of cool compa- nies and applications, mobile was a tyrannical, closed system, repelling all innovators and disrupters who tried to gain entrance. • Rubin said his startup, called Android, had the solu- tion: a free, open source mobile plat- form that any coder could write for and any handset maker could install. He would make his money by sell- ing support for the system—security n o n -c om mis sion ed c red its tk h er e services, say, or email management. Android would have the spirit of Known in Silicon Valley as a brilliant gadget guy, Andy Rubin wants to bring the coolest bits of the Web to your cell phone. 1 3 6 jul 2008 illustr ation by Firstnametk Lastname
  3. 3. Linux and the reach of Windows. It would the always-connected consumer whenever There had to be pent-up demand out there be a global, open operating system for the and wherever needed. That was easy on for something better. wireless future. PCs, but phones didn’t play nice with the So was Rubin’s pitch interesting to Page? Rubin didn’t want money from Page. cloud. Google dominated the Web today, but Absolutely. But he didn’t want to stick his He already had funding. What he wanted tomorrow might be a different story. logo on Rubin’s phone. Or write a supportive was Google’s imprimatur—even an email Working the problem had been a night- email. He had a better idea: Google would from Page would do. Rubin figured he could mare. Google engineers had a closet overflow- buy Android. attract more VC funds with the search giant ing with mobile phones to test the company’s Rubin was floored. He had come in look- on board, possibly with a hint that Google wireless applications—mobile Google, Blog- ing for an encouraging word and left with might be interested in developing its own ger, search over SMS. There were dozens the biggest payday in his life. (The eventual branded phone. He pulled out a prototype. of operating systems to navigate, a mobile purchase price was estimated at as much as Page picked up the device. He had been Tower of Babel completely at odds with the $50 million.) Now all he had to do was live personally frustrated yet fascinated by the easy access and universal language of the Web. up to his own hype. mobile market for years. He already knew What worried Page most was the numbers—he didn’t need Rubin to tell that the only firm from the PC him how many PCs and mobile world that seemed to be suc- oogle's model is to build a killer app, phones were out there. He also cessfully navigating the mobile then monetize it later,” Rubin says. We’re sit- knew that it added up to a mas- labyrinth was Microsoft, one ting in another conference room across the sive problem for Google. of Google’s biggest rivals. The street from where he and Page struck their The desktop metaphor was Windows Mobile platform had deal three years ago. The building, which fading. Phones were going to less than 10 percent of the US smartphone houses Google’s mobile division, is Rubin’s replace PCs as the main gateway market, but it was growing fast. Microsoft’s domain now. There’s a self-piloting model to the Internet, and they were system, however, was the ugly stepsister of helicopter bearing an Android logo parked going to do it soon. Why would what Rubin was proposing: Redmond exec- in the hall—Rubin builds them in his spare consumers tether themselves to utives cared less about opening up the Net time. Beyond are floors of people who think a PC when phones were growing to mobile users than about tying the mobile of nothing but the cellular future of their more and more powerful—and operating system into its desktop dominance. employer. In the lobby, a flatscreen TV shows a were cheaper, too? A decade ago, Microsoft had underestimated spinning globe with animated flares erupting But because cell phones ran on the growth of the Web and then lost control of wherever people are using Google to search different software, had less mem- it to Google. Now it looked like it was Google’s from their mobile phones. This fall, when the ory, and operated under the con- turn to be caught flat-footed. first Android phones hit the market, those straints of pay-per-byte wireless If Google had it bad, users had it worse. flares will presumably flame even higher. networks, the mobile Web was a Every year since 2002, the wireless sector Rubin is tall and skinny and a casual stripped-down, mimeographed managed to place at or near the top of the dresser even by Google standards. He’s 45 version of the real thing. Read- Better Business Bureau’s tally of the most but seems younger. Sitting with one leg tucked beneath him, he explains the mission of the Googlefied Android since google doesn't do HArd- to me, but I barely follow wAre, it doesn't cAre How Any the words. I’m staring at his phone. It’s clearly a individuAl pHone is pimped demo—black, scuffed, covered with fingerprints; out—As long As tHe tHing runs most of the face is taken on Android softwAre. up by the screen. Rubin absentmindedly slides it around the big wooden ing and surfing and—more to the complained-about industries. Americans table, then picks it up and shifts it from hand point—viewing Google ads was would rather do business with a used-car to hand. It’s maddening. All I want to do is n o n -c om mis sion ed c red its tk h er e a slow, stultifying chore. Even salesman or a collection agent than with get a closer look at his killer app. worse, a second-class Web could a customer service rep for, say, T-Mobile After Google bought Android in July 2005, derail Google’s grand strategy. or Motorola. And who could blame them? Silicon Valley pulsed with gossip and specu- The company was trying to worm The plans were expensive, pricing was com- lation about what the search giant was plan- its way deeper into users’ lives plex and capricious, and the phones never ning. Everyone figured Apple had a phone in by hosting applications and lived up to expectations. Constant innova- the works and assumed Google must be devel- personal files on Google serv- tion, the first principle of Page and Rubin’s oping one too. Rubin and his cofounders, Rich ers, then dishing them out to world, was anathema to phone companies. Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White, weren’t photograp h by Joe Pugliese
  4. 4. Android's killer Apps Nearly any new phone will be cooking Android scAn commAndro tunewiki able to run Android (HTC, LG, cApsules When users snap a A GPS-enhanced A karaoke-style music and Motorola have dedicated Displays cooking videos shot of a bar code, the social networking app that syncs lyrics models on the way). But the and ingredient lists, app pulls up reviews app that lets you map from its server to your OS is just the start; the phone then uses the phone’s and price comparisons and track your friends tunes. Users crowd- evolves as users add apps location awareness to from across the Web. in real time while source the process by from indie developers to take find the nearest grocery If you’re shopping for using the IM function tapping the screen to advantage of the seamless store. Now you’re music, it’ll find online to plan impromptu “teach” the program Web access. Top picks cooking with GPS. samples. meet-ups on the go. where each line goes. talking. “Trying to guess Google’s next move prize money to be parceled out to the cre- out as long as the hidden Android DNA was recently replaced digging through Steve Jobs’ ators of the best applications for the new there underneath, keeping everything tied to garbage … at the top of our weekend activities system—a great social networking tool, the Internet and running smoothly. list,” wrote tech blog Engadget. When Apple say, or a handwriting recognition program. The company’s theory was that if you make unveiled the iPhone last summer, expecta- The Challenge was an open call; anyone was browsing by phone easy and fun, people tions for a gPhone—could it be called any- invited to take a shot. will use it just like a desktop browser, with thing else?—grew even more feverish. Those hoping for a new gadget to rival the Google search as the main port of entry. But when Google finally broke its silence iPhone finally understood that Google had Christmas Day 2007 offered Google proof in early November, there was nothing about something radically different in mind. Apple’s that the strategy could work. That morning, a gPhone. Instead, there was a press release. device was an end in itself—a self-contained, people unwrapped their iPhones, powered Thirty-four companies—firms like Texas jewel-like masterpiece locked in a sleek pro- them up, clicked on the easy-to-use Safari Instruments, Intel, T-Mobile, and Sprint tective shell. Android was a means, a seed browser—and pointed to Google. In 24 hours, Nextel—were joining Google to build a wire- intended to grow an entire new wireless fam- the iPhone, which accounted for fewer than less interface based on open source Linux ily tree. Google was never in the software. The group dubbed itself the Open hardware business. There would Handset Alliance. Competitors sighed in be no gPhone—instead, there relief. This was how Google planned to shake would be hundreds of gPhones. rise of tHe smArtpHone up the nearly trillion-dollar global wireless HTC, Motorola, and LG all market? A consortium? announced plans to market new “Their efforts are just some words on Android phones in a multitude of paper,” remarked Steve Ballmer, CEO of shapes and sizes, each with dif- Microsoft, at a conference in Japan. “Another ferent software options. Android was a fully 5 percent of all smartphones worldwide, Linux platform,” shrugged the CEO of Sym- customizable system. Any application could drove more traffic to Google than any other bian, the dominant smartphone operating be removed or swapped out for another. Even mobile device. If Apple could generate that system outside the US. the few programs that Google was creating much business for Google, surely Google A week later, Google upped the ante. The from scratch—an email app, a contacts mana- could do even better for itself. CEO Eric company put a free Android software devel- ger—could be replaced with third-party soft- Schmidt, a BlackBerry man at heart, was ini- oper’s kit on its Web site and announced the ware that did the same thing. Google didn’t tially skeptical about teaming up with Rubin. Developer Challenge, with $10 million in care how any individual model was pimped But once he embraced the idea of Android, 1 3 8 jul 2008
  5. 5. google wAnts developers he did it with a convert’s zeal. to write progrAms tHAt drAw “That is the re-creation of the swAtHs of users, wHicH in Internet. That is the re-creation of the PC story,” Schmidt told turn AttrAct more developers. business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos a month after Christmas. “And it will happen in the next year.” Rubin finally turns on the bat- t wAs dAn morrill's first time out ence room of the Innside Hotel and stops. tered phone and launches Google of the country, and that made him a little There are almost 200 people, more than Maps. “So, here we are,” he says, nervous. But as he gathered his bags in the twice what he expected. A dozen develop- moving the satellite image of San Munich airport on a surprisingly warm Janu- ers are sitting on the floor in the back of the Francisco by dragging one finger ary morning earlier this year, after the last room, computers propped on their knees. along the screen. “This is the Embarcadero. leg of a long, exhausting flight from San Fran- There are hobbyists, chief technical officers, I can manipulate it. I can zoom.” He taps to cisco, he looked up to see a Paul Bunyan– indie programmers, and students. focus in on a street view of a truck’s license sized BMW grill fixed to the wall. If you’re Morrill runs through his prepared remarks plate, then clicks to a new application. “Let’s looking for engineers, he thought, there are then starts taking questions. They want see, let’s go to a music player. I can go to Art- worse places to go than a city that welcomes to know about Android programming, of ist here and get my list of—oops, it says the you with an oversize Beemer. course, but they also ask why Google is doing SD card is missing.” Morrill is a software engineer turned this, what the company’s expectations are, He squints into the tiny card slot. “Hmm, “developer advocate.” He’s a roving evan- and what the criteria will be for awarding it’s there. Looks like I have a little bit of a gelist to the coder world. But that’s just the prize money. At one point, hotel manage- bug.” He shrugs, taps on an icon to go to the his cover. Morrill’s real mission is to make ment shows up to warn Morrill that the size browser, and checks out CNN.com. It looks sure Android triggers a full-on network of the gathering violates the fire code. good—a small but fully functional version effect—that mystical melding of passion The virus was spreading. At an event the of the Web site. Back when he and Page were and self-interest that fueled the growth of next day in Israel, the local Google office had first talking, this would have been amaz- behemoths like eBay and Facebook. Google to switch locations to handle the overflow ing. But now, with the iPhone and other wants developers to build cool programs crowd. In London, registration for the devel- enhanced smartphones out there? No big that can draw huge numbers of users, creat- oper’s conference filled up in two hours. Fan- so u r ces : cA nALYs , c om s c or e net wor ks , GA r t ner , i s u ppL i deal. A minute later the battery dies. ing an expanding market that attracts more boys were putting up sites for the platform: He pockets the phone and finishes up. I developers to build more cool programs to AndroidGuys, Phandroid, Planet Android. can’t help feeling a little disappointed. This attract more users. If the $10 million prize In Thailand, the government carved out an is the phone Page is making his big bet on? In is the spark, Morrill’s job is to make sure entire floor of Software Park—a federally Google’s regular line of business, the strat- there’s ignition. Google had dispatched him funded business incubator housed in a sky- egy has always been to unveil innovative, to Germany to meet with a small group of scraper north of Bangkok—for Android devel- occasionally flawed products—like Google local mobile programmers. opment work. In Japan, quickie books on Docs—then keep them in beta for months or The morning of his talk, Morrill dresses Android programming were appearing in years. But people don’t want to buy a phone in his usual uniform, an untucked button- major bookstores. In Chennai, India, attend- in beta. Android products have to work right down over a silk-screened T-shirt, this one ees at a Nokia developer conference com- from the start. Is this really the phone that’s with the image of a friendly green robot, pared notes on Android’s coding kit during the going to change everything? the Android icon. He walks into the confer- presentations. | continued on page 146 With sales of smartphones booming,  Surf once a week or less Mobile advertising revenue is Android enters a US smartphone- 56 percent of US owners are using  Surf a few times a week poised to explode, a likely boon for OS market dominated by RIM, their device to surf the Web daily.  Surf once a day or more Google’s ad divisions. Microsoft, and Apple. 1% Worldwide mobile ad revenue 3% Worldwide unit shipments 11% $12.8 324 22% 7% 287 18% 32% 241 22% 25% $8 185 9% Linux in millions $1.7 symbian in billions $1 124 56% 48% 46% paLm $4.6 appLE 82 $2.8 microsoft 53 rim 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2005 2007
  6. 6. Jamdroid users, crowdsourcing road con- slide-show service, so users could instantly ditions. LifeAware tracks friends or family, upload images from their camera phone. plotting them on a map and alerting the Google took it to a phone company for place- user when, say, a kid leaves a preset area. ment but couldn’t get the necessary sign- E-ventr mashes up evites and Google Maps off. The service, which was free, would have to organize parties on the fly. BreadCrumbz competed with a similar proprietary offering lets you share photo-enhanced driving and the carrier was rolling out—and charging walking routes with the world. Already, $10 a month for. The idea of instant mobile Android has half as many outside appli- uploading to Picasa was quietly shelved. cations as RIM’s BlackBerry platform and This time Google is going out of its way to about 10 percent the number offered for assuage the fears of potential partners and Android Windows Mobile at Handango, a leading pay the necessary fealties. The cockiness continued from page 139 application download site—and that’s still that marked its relationships in the past As soon as programmers started playing months before it launches. has been replaced by at least the appear- with the emulator, they saw how big Google’s No wonder Rubin seemed so unconcerned ance of empathy and cooperation. When ambitions were. The company was trying to with the faulty prototype he showed me back one chipmaker got cold feet at the idea of make programming for a cell phone analo- in Mountain View: It was just a framework having some of its code open-sourced, Rubin gous to programming for a PC or the Web. waiting to be filled out by others. Google will immediately called senior executives to Coders were told that their applications supply the basic starter apps, but Android’s talk over the benefits. Then he had his top would have constant access to the Net, not secret weapon is really the network effect. engineer, Brian Swetland, sit down with the usual mobile hurry-up-and-wait feel. the chipmaker’s attorneys and engineers to Working with the cloud—enabling programs Among developers there is a giddy sense work out solutions. “You have to very care- to push or pull info to or from the Web—was a that Android is ushering in Web 2.0 to the fully figure out how to help them help you must. All Android phones would know where barely 0.5 world of mobile. But it won’t take do the right thing,” Swetland says. they were at all times, either by tapping much to stop the movement. If manufac- Rubin has a well-rehearsed spiel for the into onboard GPS or by cross-referencing turers like Motorola and HTC put out lousy handset makers, too. They fear losing their cell towers using a proprietary database phones, Android suffers. If carriers like AT&T individual identities. Rubin counters that owned by Google. And applications would and Verizon Wireless block the gates to their Android will liberate them from having to be allowed to share information, which at networks, Android fails. spend valuable resources managing and the simplest level meant the kind of copy- “Working with partners is not easy, and maintaining vast amounts of code. Instead, and-paste functionality across all programs the operating system is just a part of it,” says they can concentrate on phone design and that cell phones currently lack. Scott Rockfeld, group product manager for proprietary apps (which Google’s open Even better, at least in a developer’s eyes, Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Busi- source license allows). the Android team had violated an essential ness. “It seems like Google’s strategy is ‘Just You can imagine heads nodding in board- tenet of the wireless industry: that users are get something out there so we can put our rooms as Rubin finishes his talk—he gets too dumb and dangerous to be trusted with services on top.’ Well, very quickly they’re us!—and in fact it has worked pretty well. downloadable software. Engineers who write going to see that mobile operators don’t HTC, an upstart Taiwanese handset maker for just about any mobile operating system want to be dumb pipes and that manufactur- that is closely tied to Windows Mobile, has today have to spend time and cash obtaining ers want to differentiate their phones.” built a 200-person engineering team to focus security keys and code-signing certificates. Windows Mobile is now installed on 140 on Android. Motorola has gone a step further. Android would allow any application to be devices, hosted by 160 carriers around the The company’s handset business, slated to be installed and run, no questions asked. world. Key to its success was Microsoft’s spun off, is on life-support, and it’s counting By the April 14 deadline for the first round ability to use its desktop domination as a on Android for a comeback. It has assigned its of the Developer Challenge, Google had battering ram. Businesses wanted seam- top designers—the people who crafted the received nearly 1,800 submissions. Entrants less integration between their office-based Razr—to create new must-have models. Engi- ranged from huge corporations to single- email and mobile phones, and by offering neers from Good Technology, the BlackBerry person shops and came from all over the that, Microsoft was able to challenge the competitor Motorola purchased in 2006, are world. Only a third were from the US. BlackBerry. “Google is just trying to copy now writing applications for Android. For Among the contact management systems our model,” adds Rockfeld. (Not that Micro- Motorola, Android has to work. and shopping tools, there were applications soft isn’t a bit unnerved. Earlier this year, “The handset makers are on a treadmill, that truly fulfilled Android’s promise, par- it bought Rubin’s old company, Danger, for trying to turn out hardware every six months ticularly in their use of location awareness, $500 million. Steve Ballmer now owns the that’s innovative and thinner, with bigger social networking, and cloud computing. Sidekick, just in case.) displays and lower costs, while having to do One developer offered up Jamdroid, a pro- Google says it has learned the rules of the the systems integration,” Rubin says. “The gram that you turn on in your car to feed game—sometimes the hard way. Not long net result is no innovation. They don’t have real-time traffic data to a central server; the ago, the company enhanced its mobile ver- time. You know what? We make really good info is then compiled and beamed to other sion of Picasa, a photo-editing, storage, and software. We can take on all that work.” 1 4 6 jul 2008
  7. 7. Convincing the big carriers—that’s been doesn’t show up on the two biggest net- coalition of the willing to cut the ice with the tougher task. For them, Rubin is offer- works, which together control 54 percent Verizon and AT&T,” says Jeffrey Lindsay, ing Android’s unbeatable price: free. Soft- of the US wireless market, it might as well an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein in ware normally makes up about 20 percent not show up at all. New York. “They are formidable competi- of the cost of a phone. The service provid- There is, however, one incentive that tors.” Google would rather partner, but it ers will be able to pocket the savings or use Google can still offer that might bring the appears ready to fight. lower-priced handsets to get more consum- carriers around: access to its advertising ers hooked on smartphones, increasing the mother lode, expected this year to top Larry Page doesn’t seem worried about number of lucrative wireless-data plans. $16 billion. The chance for a taste of Google the details. He’s got people who will hammer Plus, Rubin insists that the Android software gold has lured competitors like AOL, Ask out the business deals necessary to make will take the limits of the carriers’ networks .com, and potentially even Yahoo into Android work. We’re just around the corner into consideration. “We have to be conscious partnership deals. Mobile advertising is from his office, in yet another Google con- of the cost they incurred to purchase the air,” expected to grow from more than $1.7 bil- ference room. “That phone you’re carrying he says. “So we don’t want to use too much lion in 2007 to $12.8 billion in 2011. If around,” he says, “we think of it as a phone, data. We have to constantly think about how Google can translate its Web dominance but it’s really a computer, right?” Page is we can give users a great experience with- into the mobile arena, who wouldn’t want dressed in a blue blazer over a white T-shirt. out wasting the spectrum.” to partner with it? (Google says it can’t com- He leans forward in his chair. “We’ve learned So far, Android has been able to persuade ment on future ad-sharing deals.) from computers that it’s really nice to have only T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel to join the “You have a significant challenge in mobile, complete connectivity, to be able to con- Open Handset Alliance. Neither is a sur- in that the screens are much smaller, so you nect anything in a kind of open way. We’ve prise: T-Mobile partnered with Rubin on can’t display nearly as much advertising also learned that it’s really nice to be able the Sidekick, and as one of the smaller car- or take as much space,” Google cofounder to run any application you want to run, also riers it’s more willing to take risks. Sprint, Sergey Brin told Wall Street analysts on a in an open way. For a lot of people and a lot suffering from massive consumer churn recent conference call. “On the other hand, of the time during your life, the phone is and almost junk-rated debt, seems game for you have much more relevant and timely your main computing platform. We look at anything that might help. But the two big- information, like what location the person those technologies and say, wow, we could gest players, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, might be in, so on balance that leaves me do a whole lot more.” have passed. “There wasn’t anything viable quite optimistic.” Page rarely shows much emotion, but I we were willing to entertain,” says Verizon Telecom consultant Chetan Sharma says detect a flicker of genuine excitement when Wireless spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson. This that Android’s success depends on Google’s he’s talking about Android. This isn’t just spring, the carrier even backed an Android willingness to share the wealth. “What’s the another of the mini apps, like Google Check- competitor, an open source consortium relationship going to be between Google and out or Google Desktop, that the company’s called the LiMo Foundation. the carriers in terms of advertising dollars?” engineers seem to air-drop onto the Web And why would a network operator he asks. “That needs to be nailed down before every week—each of which has the poten- join Android’s cause? Android—like the we know how big Android can be.” tial to become a massive challenge to an iPhone—will hasten the day when phone And if the carrot doesn’t work, Google entrenched competitor or remain forever in companies become nothing more than also wields a pretty hefty stick: more than development. This is a much bigger gamble. dumb pipes to deliver data. If it manages $12 billion in cash that it can use either to It’s designed to change an industry and to turn the cell phone into a perfect tool force the carriers to open their gates or to Google along with it. “People can debate for surfing and cloud computing, with launch a competitive wireless network of its how long it will take us, but I have 100 per- voice as just another cool app, then the own. In early 2008, the company bid $4.7 bil- cent confidence that eventually we’ll get only things left to differentiate one car- lion to buy up prime 700-MHz spectrum there,” Page says. rier from another are which has the most in an FCC auction. Google lost to Verizon And if they don’t? Not much downside. If towers and which the cheapest unlimited Wireless but drove the price high enough the only thing Android achieves—as Page data plans. Android’s decision to let any- to trigger a rule requiring the spectrum’s knew before Rubin walked into Google three one make add-ons and applications is also new owners to allow access to nearly any years ago—is getting more people to spend a threat. Today, developers who want to device. (Google is now furiously lobbying more time online, then Google still profits. have their application on an AT&T phone the FCC to make a reluctant Verizon Wire- More users mean more people viewing pages have to fork over a chunk of their revenue less live up to the rules.) with Google ads. If they’re doing that from while meeting stringent security require- In May, Google committed $500 million to an Android phone, great. If not, but they’re ments. (Apple has copied this model: Jobs bankroll Clearwire, a national WiMax sys- on a phone made more Web-friendly thanks & Co. will skim 30 percent off all sales of tem with partners that include Intel, Com- to competitive pressure from Google, that’s iPhone apps, which will be available only cast, and Time Warner Cable. Any device, also fine. “I hope it’s Android,” Page says. But through Apple.) Under Android rules, every- including Android phones, will be able to either way, Google wins. � one’s their own boss. use the high-speed wireless network, cut- No big carrier is going to hand over its net- ting the carriers out of the picture. “You daniel roth (daniel_roth@wired.com) work to Google for nothing. And if Google need something more substantial than a is wired’s senior writer.

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