The kids in Mountain View (i.e.; Google) just never slow down.
As if Google Base, Google Maps, Earth, Apps, Gmail, AdWords, AdSense, Blogger, YouTube, and on, and on, aren't enough, they want in on wireless too.
The FCC is looking to open bidding on the 700 MHz spectrum in 2008. I'll let Wired handle the explanation of it all, but Google made some progress on a few of their wish list items.
Now there are rumors that they are prototyping a device of their own. These rumors have been out for quite a while truth be told, Google working on a phone that is. The stories circulating indicate that Google will want to make the device and service essentially open by supporting it with Ads.
(purely a guess - not to be seen as an accurate representation!!)
Until recently, this would have been folly. Mobile ads in the US simply haven't taken off yet, but that may be changing soon. By in large, the mobile experience isn't all that great due to devices. Apple is changing all of that with the iPhone. Bugs and carrier complaints aside, it must be recognized that the innovation of presentation has started a massive change. Now the browsing experience on the mobile device is very similar to the experience on a computer. This familiarity will probably push innovation and uptake more than anything else.
With mobile devices now becoming real connectivity devices, Google has a whole new playground to frolic in. With web-based apps, now Gmail and Google Maps (as just two examples) make a lot more sense on these handhelds, and as such, there is a whole new inventory for Google to display ads. At this point, financially, it's a more realistic model.
With archaic, monolithic, wireless providers holding customers hostage with limited phone choices and awful monthly plans, it's nice to see someone shaking, or trying to shake up, the norm.
I just hope Google remembers to thank Apple for this opportunity. (Though I'm sure Eric Schmidt - sitting on the Apple board - has probably had a chance to thank Steve Jobs personally.)
*and I hope the Chip doesn't get mad at me for stealing a little mobile thunder this time around!