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Google wanted you to bid in real-time for data allocation

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Four years ago Google filed a patent for a system that would allocate spectrum to users based on real-time auctions.

Cell tower 1024 stock
Cell tower 1024 stock

Back in 2008 Google filed for a patent to create an entirely new way to allocate data to mobile users — by having them dynamically bid on it. The process was centred around real-time auctions, which would let you place bids on how much spectrum you actually need directly from your mobile device. So in times of low traffic you might be able to get some extra data for relatively cheap, but during peak hours the cost would go up. The system would also let you buy allocation rights for a specific period of time, lasting anywhere from a day to the lifetime of your device.

According to Google, the process of "market-driven allocation" would not only make more efficient use of the spectrum, but also help continue to build out the network thanks to financing from users "who value access to the infrastructure the most." Of course, Google doesn't currently own any spectrum, though it famously bid on the 700MHz block C Spectrum in 2008 in order to bump up the price and force its open access provisions. But if it had ended up winning, this just might've been what it had in mind.