Who Will Buy a Data Carrier First: Apple Google or Microsoft?

Who is going to buy a data carrier first?  The Next Web wrote a great article over the weekend about what Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) should be doing with $65 billion dollars of cash reserves.  Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is sitting on about $37 billion in cash and has been rumored to be interested in buying Sprint and also Verizon FiOS.  I also would not be surprised to see Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) become interested in buying an ISP as well with the interest in location based advertising and their recent purchase of Skype.

A data carrier is an Internet Service Provide that specializes in providing high speed broadband via wireless or wireline.  Examples of this would be Clearwire or Verizon FiOS.   Why would Apple or Google want to do this?  The vast majority of Apple and Google's headaches are dealing with the carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint who are managing both voice and data networks.  Sophisticated technical smartphone users know that they don't really need 2G and 3G voice services with free VoIP services.  Carriers are also offloading the majority of their data transition to WiFi because their networks cannot handle the traffic and won't scale.  WiFi networks are growing 25X faster than cell phone towers and quickly becoming the means to download and access the internet for free.  Now that VoIP or voice over Internet services like Skype, Google Voice & Facetime are taking off, wireless consumers don't need to use traditional voice networks anymore.  These wireless carriers have a massive infrastructure of wireless networks that provide 2G, 3G, 4G services that may soon be extinct in the next decade if pure data networks become the standard for Voice and Data.  It would simplify the World into a a single homogeneous protocol that would bring massive acceleration to the wireless industry.

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