January 28, 2008 / 5:18 AM / in 11 years

Google CEO bullish on mobile Web advertising

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The arrival of a truly mobile Web, offering a new generation of location-based advertising, is set to unleash a “huge revolution,” Google Inc Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said on Friday.

In this file photo Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt attends a news conference in Paris June 19, 2007. The arrival of a truly mobile Web, offering a new generation of location-based advertising, is set to unleash a "huge revolution", Schmidt said on Friday. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

“It’s the recreation of the Internet, it’s the recreation of the PC (personal computer) story and it is before us — and it is very likely it will happen in the next year,” he told a panel at the World Economic Forum.

Current estimates for mobile advertising are cautious, with consultancy Forrester predicting revenues of under $1 billion by 2012.

But Schmidt said this figure was too low and failed to take into account the fact the mobile Web was reaching a tipping point.

Google aims to be a prime mover by bidding for coveted airwaves to launch an open U.S. wireless network, pitting it against established telecommunications players. The move will take the Silicon Valley-based company well beyond its core Web search and online advertising franchises.

Some analysts are worried at the high costs involved but Schmidt said he was confident location-based advertising — which could, for example, direct hungry travelers to nearby restaurants — would be “a very, very good business.”

Content providers, already struggling in the modern world of music and film downloads, are less convinced that mobile Internet is a minefield.

“It is not going to be easy to hang on the price of content,” said Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony Corp.

For full coverage, blogs and TV from Davos see: here

In this file photo Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt attends a news conference in Paris June 19, 2007. The arrival of a truly mobile Web, offering a new generation of location-based advertising, is set to unleash a "huge revolution", Schmidt said on Friday. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

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