back to article Schmidt denies Google wants 'dumb pipe' carriers

Eric Schmidt has claimed that Google does not want to turn the world's wireless carriers into "dumb data pipes." The Google chief exec made the claim on Tuesday during his keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, after a conference attendee accused the company of harboring such dumb pipe desires - of trying to " …

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Barcelona?

google is beginning a slow-motion implosion. I'm quite looking forward to watching the melt-down ... Not because I'm competing with them (I'm not), but rather because the principals are egotistic idiots who really have no clue about Internet culture, nor the RealWorld[tm], and have refused to listen to folks who have had a hand in building the very technology that they are taking advantage of. Vint Cerf selling out doesn't help any.

Flowery twats ...

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Flame

Both of them are right

The operator person is right after a fashion. Google is right after a fashion.

It is all described in the illustrated guide to 3GPP IMS: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047984/

The operators see the "intelligence in the pipe" as described in this succinct illustration to the 3GPP design methodology. Google in turn does not quite like what it sees and it likes the things as described here: http://www.hyperorg.com/misc/stupidnet.html

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FAIL

Sure, Eric. Whatever you say.

I don't believe it for a minute. Of course google wants the networks to just be infrastructure. Sure, there's plenty of room for innovation in infrastructure, but it's invisible to most people, and therefore not particularly profitable. I don't for a moment think that's an excuse for operators to artificially inflate the importance of the network so they can charge more.

It takes a much smaller investment to make a flashier innovation on the user-facing side, and that draws customers' dollars much more quickly, compared to network infrastructure improvements. Unfortunately for the operators, google is better than they are at coming up with impressive new user-facing innovations, and customers are difficult to court on the technical merits of the network's backbone infrastructure. If people suddenly started consuming and order of magnitude or two more data, then networks which had invested in more innovative infrastructure could charge a price premium. So someone will make the necessary infrastructure innovations. It just might go more slowly if it has to be driven by demand exterior, rather than internal strategy.

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What the hell...

... is wrong with a "dumb pipe"?

Gas was commoditized, and that is why we can get around! How would it be if you had to fill up on gas made just for your car? Or if your lights only worked when plugged into Excel-brand outlets?

It would look just like before there was a "standard gauge" railroad... thats how! Google should have the balls to say "YES! We want a dumb pipe. In fact it is necessary for the advancement of commerce."

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Go

Exactly

I'd love a dumb pipe, one that gives me access to the Internet and only access to the Internet.

Rather than a DPI infested err "smart" pipe, that can't tell the difference between encrypted HTTPS on a non-standard port and bit-torrent traffic making my VPS control panel useless during peak times.

+1 for dumb pipes! Get to it Google!

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Ink Cartridges...

...are an example of taking a standard product and putting your own unnessasary complications on it. Imagine if ink came in bottles and you just poured it into your printers tanks.

Would we then get one ink company with the monopoly on ink?

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FAIL

Re: What the hell...

You have an analogy problem there. It's not the petrol that's important (that's like the "bits 'n bytes" side of it) it's the distribution side that's more like the networks.

Now if every petrol station were the cheapest, most basic, unattended card payment type, serving only base-spec 95 RON* you'd have a point. Unfortunately for your analogy the fuel companies reckon there's money in the "added value" side, hence the shops, coffee bars, attendants, car washes, vacuum cleaners, graded fuels et. al.

Maybe data networks are like vehicle fuel and there's a world where both dumb and "value added" offerings can coexist. Certainly round here, the fact that the unattended, "dumb pipe" stations serve your fuel somewhere between 5 and 10 cents a litre cheaper than the attended ones has not driven the attended, "value added" ones out of business. Sometimes people are prepared to pay a bit more for bells and whistles.

*Oil-burner drivers? STFU and take it as read there's another nozzle pushing some DERV blend there too.

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I thnk I agree

Water. Dumb pipes.

Electricity. Dumb pipes

Gas. Dumb pipes

Sewage. Dumb pipes

All make money for their operators.

Why shouldn't networks go the same way? They just need to get their act together and sort out a charging mechanism that ensures that they make money. It works for eau, leccy, gaz n'shite.

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Anonymous Coward

re: what the hell

Wrong. Google, youtube et al will continue to rely on network operators improving their infrastructure purely to improve the services that content providers will offer.

Where will the investment come from ? Why would anyone put money into any network provider when the risks are lower and the profits higher elsewhere.

Biitch about network operators all you like, but a closer analogy would be the rioad network. Google, youtube, iplayer sending big f-off juggernauts along country roads relying on someone else to build motorways, fix potholes etc.

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Google are correct

MNOs (like ISPs) are really dumb data pipes, no matter how much they are in denial.

They may bandy together in the Wholesale Applications Community because they can see Apple, Google, Microsoft's App Stores "owning the customer" and they want high-margin value-added offerings; but that is simply delaying the inevitable.

At some point their shareholders and the markets are going to realise that MNOs are not "growth" companies but are simply "utilities".

In the meantime, Google's Eric Schmidt plays a political game in denying what is bleedin' obvious to all but MNOs.

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Anonymous Coward

You wanna dumb pipe ?

Pay for it then. Really.

If you don't want dpi - because it doesn't meet your needs then pay for a service that does.

Like google, too many users thinks bandwidth costs nowt.

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Anonymous Coward

Thats quite interesting...

Industrial inkjet printers (the ones that put on those dotty best before dates) have ink tanks, and you pour ink in to them from a bottle. (One litre at a time - these things use a lot of ink)

You wouldn't believe the amount of effort going in to trying to stop 'pirates' from making ink that you can just 'pour in'!

Generally the printer companies make ink, but at a very high margin, and rather than reduce this margin, they spend a huge amount of effort trying to think of ways of stopping people putting pirate ink in the machines (reduced guarantees, bar code system for ink id, RFID, reduced service times etc). Or they could just drop the price slightly and put the pirates out of business...all the customer wants is pot of ink to put in the printer at the end of the day, so they don't get fined by Tesco's when a date goes missing.

Sort of like the network infrastructure. People are generally happy to pay a sensible price, without any encumbrances. Get the price right, pay per GB, and the dumb system should work fine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You wanna dumb pipe ? (AC 13:31)

"If you don't want dpi - because it doesn't meet your needs then pay for a service that does.

Like google, too many users thinks bandwidth costs nowt."

You're missing what I said. I didn't say I'm downloading GBs of torrents and DPI is pissing me off.

I said I'm trying to access a HTTPS VPS control panel (about 2MB a session for some basic admin,) but because of DPI not knowing the difference between HTTPS on a non-standard port and encrypted torrent traffic, I can't access my VPS control panel during throttled times due to dropped packets.

I have no problem with throttling itself, if it was at least reasonable, an 8Mb/s connection throttled to <28Kb/s with around 50% packet loss on encrypted traffic is not reasonable.

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Coat

Schmidt is right...

...he does not want "dumb pipe" operators. He does not want any operators AT ALL (which is a big difference). He would like to take over or destroy the business of the operators. In Google's view, there seems to be only one company allowed - Google.

Can I get the one with the book on "conspiracy theories", please.

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Stop

What's wrong with dumb pipes

I don't want my pipes 'intelligent' - that implies that they want to mess with my connection.

Show me anyone other than an inbred mobile operator that wants 'intelligent' pipes.

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What do the customers want ?

Maybe the customers just want a dumb pipe too ?

Which is along way from saying that I want Google to provide all the goodies.

Most the "USPs" I get on my mobile accounts are attempts to sell me something I either don't want or don't need - or I can get better, elsewhere for less.

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FAIL

Liar liar pants on fire

And so the global disinformation campaign continues...

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Badgers

well friggin DUH!!

Google would like the carriers and handset manufacturers to be involved in a cut-throat price war to deliver commodities while Google scoop all the profit via the ads delivered by Android.

The carriers would like HTC/Nokia/Google etc. to engage in a cut-throat price war to deliver commodity handsets while the carriers scoop up all the profit via charges for service provision.

Every single party in the market (carriers, hardware makers, software providers) wants to grab all the cash for themselves and lock customers to whatever they provide, leaving their 'partners' struggling to earn a 1.5% margin as customers swap them out every 2 weeks. This is what is know as 'business as usual'.

Poor poor carriers, forced to suffer the consequences of customers being able to change their carriers whenever they feel like it, and their utter inability to get anyone to buy on a basis other than 'who's cheapest today'. Lets all get together and cry them a frigging river as they get to feel the shaft for once.

Badgers, because everyone in the mobile industry fights like a sackful of them, and are about as useful.

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"Schmidt preferred...

... to focus on a narrow definition of dumb pipe. "

In other words "No but yes"; the operators do all the heavy lifting in terms of infrastructure investment, traffic management, security etc., the stuff which users don't see and probably can't be persuaded to pay extra for, while Google does all the low-investment cool looking stuff that users go ooh and aah over will pay for and thus rakes in the lion's share of any return. If I were an operator I'd be within a gnat's left one of not only not offering Googlephones but actively blocking them if it were possible.

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Dumb is well designed!

He should have said yes, and perhaps added a dumb network is a well designed network, with transparent operational properties and established planning rules. What's wrong with being a utility, delivering universal connectivity? We will happily convert our payments for legacy voice into peak hour bit carrying capacity and keep paying the monthly subs. Any operator poverty is due to Governments talking of UNiversal Broadband and then selling spectrum to the highest bidder. The whole spectrum process assumes operators create a complex system which can be protected and a premium charged.

The electromagnetic spectrum is the clever bit, thinking you can sell it as Governments do starts some very dysfunctional behaviour, as companies have to create complexity and scarcity in order to get back the money paid to use the spectrum. The fees paid are fees to guarantee its poor use.

It would be better if Google spent its billions to get the Government out of the way. Buy the spectrum, tell everybody you are going to call it open specctrum, and allow facility owners to use it to create the dumb but well designed networks, which can be wholesaled to anybody wishing to finance the sale of handset, computers and services on the network.

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Paris Hilton

I want dumb pipes too!

I understand that Schmidt has to be political, but really, most of us want operators to be dumb pipes. And the operators have been fighting this since Hush-a-phone.

PH... pipes... dumb...

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I'd pay more for a "dumb pipe..."

...but they are illegal here. A business can get a "dumb pipe" connection> A residence cannot.

Q_Q

AND THERE'S FIBRE IN THE BOX 30 FEET FROM MY HOUSE. The level of frustration is ov*BANG*

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Flame

Does anyone

actually want a "smart pipe"?

I have a dumb pipe for water. A meter measures how much I use and I am charged for that.

We are now threatened with "smart meters" for our electricity. This will mean that big business and government would then be able to decide for me what I wanted to do.

If you want me to use less energy, persuade me -

stick=price manipulation

carrot=environmental awareness

Dumb pipes are much more User Friendly!

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Dump pipes all the way ...

Yes that's exactly what consumers want .. dump pipes. If you want to turn a profit sell do so by providing the best connectivity at the lowest price.

Dumb pipes seem to be the best for the consumers

Internet = Dumb (aside from the occasional blocking/throttling)

Gas = Dumb

Electricity = Dumb

Telephone wiring = Dumb (I have a choice of local/long distance providers)

Roads = Dumb (aside from the occasional toll pike and weight restricted roads)

Gas Stations = Dumb

Water/Sewer = Dumb

Works great .. you end up with either a carefully regulated utility or companies competing to provide you with the best service at the lowest cost.

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