So I'm going to start a rumor here: I think, before the year is out, that Google is going to try to buy Sprint.
The ties between the companies...
The ties between the companies are getting very close indeed. Google's Nexus S Android 2.3 reference smartphone is available on Sprint. Sprint has just cut over its voicemail system to Google Voice. Sprint has a pretty fair 4G network in place. And Bloomberg now reports that Google will later this week unveil a mobile payment system on Sprint.
You'll recall also that Google has been pushing for some time for open access to wireless networks -- even to the extent of running prices for everyone else in the last big FCC wireless auction. To date, despite FCC regulations, the open network initiative hasn't amounted to much. What better way to force the issue than to out-and-out buy one of the players -- especially one they're already tied to so tightly?