Keep your eyes on Google. A story by Miguel Helft and Stephen Labaton in today's NY Times describes Google's bid to purchase wireless spectrum. Their vision is to allow consumers to buy a wireless phone independent of the network it runs on. Just like a consumer isn't asked how they will use a TV before they purchase it, Google feels the cell phone industry should behave the same way. The play here is to let the consumer choose Google software on the phone that enhances functionality and reduces cost through the placement of Google Adwords.
You can see the Google strategy emerging. They extend the Google advertising model across every platform - PDA, phone and computer. With Google Gears they further emulate the computer software model by offering seamless offline and online functionality (think Gmail behaving like Outlook). Add to the mix advertising models across the Internet, newspaper, television (Dish auction deal), radio and Internet. Integrate all of the information in Google analytics giving advertisers the ultimate ROI analysis tool. The information Google collects on you further customizes the experience creating more consumer value than any other platform.
Google's platforms are open while old world company platforms like Verizon and AT&T are closed. The world belongs to Google, and with this approach, I think it should.