Google says that mobile comes first
As far as the carriers go, Schmidt took offense at a question from the audience that asked if Google plans on using the carriers as a dumbpipe, sending Google services through the system to the end user. Schmidt replied, "In the first place, I feelvery, very strongly that we depend on the successful businesses of theoperators globally, and I disagree with you that quote 'we're trying toturn the operators into a dumb pipe.'"
Operators are crucial to handle issues like security, dynamic signaling, and load balancing, the CEO noted. When asked if 5 years down the road, would cellphone users be considered customers of Google or of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, the Google CEO said that felt that the user would be both a customer of his firm and the carriers. "The relationship that theoperator is going to have with the device is going to get much moresophisticated. The operator will have … the billing relationship, thesupport relationship, an educational relationship, a platformrelationship, if you will," Schmidt said. "Google will also know moreabout the customer because it benefits the customer to tell Google moreabout them. The more we know about the customer, the better the qualityof searches; the better the quality of the apps. They're different,however. The operator one is required, and the Google one will beoptional. And today I would say the minority choose to [opt in], but Ithink over time a majority will."