Optical/IP Networks

Google Phone: Out of India?

Reports out of India suggest a mobile phone from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) might happen sooner rather than later.

Rediff says the search giant is in talks with major Indian operators Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), Bharat Sanchar Nigam, and Vodafone Essar, and that a low-cost phone could be launched within weeks. Simultaneous launches are also rumored in the U.S. and Europe.

The new chatter about the GPhone follows months of speculation about Google entering into the mobile phone market. Back in March, Unstrung reported that the company had a 100-strong team working on a mobile device. The firm has continued to seek more mobile talent in all areas of its business through the summer. (See Google Spy: Big Team Picking Up Phone and Google's Mobile Hiring Frenzy.)

A Google phone would likely involve far more design work than the search firm has traditionally undertaken. So far, Google has developed its own servers for internal use and an Internet appliance.

It is possible that the 700MHz auctions in January could provide the key to Google's mobile ambitions in the U.S. The firm has once again been making positive noises about voting for a block of the mobile broadband spectrum. (See Broadband News Spews.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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