I thought this was interesting. FTFA:
One part of Google's patent that wasn't discussed during the announcement was micro-auctions, in which users pay for network usage by the sip. Google's patent describes a mobile device that submits a proposal for competitive bids by network operators each time the network is used. An app in need of a network connection would send a request for a bid to nearby networks and would accept the lowest bid with the matching network service level.
Micro-auctions would provide consumers the best user experience because they would always connect to the fastest network available. Large mobile carriers would resist this change because they would forego subscriber contract revenues earned independently of network quality for revenues earned by bidding the lowest price to deliver the fastest network performance.
My only question would be how would you verify that the provider is returning a realistic answer? Remember AT&T's "Faux G"?
That said, I gotta admit that this is a neat idea, especially with the idea of network service levels. For example, I can get by with 2G service for a message to Google/Apple asking, "Is my software up-to-date?" But I'll want that 100Mbps LTE goodness when watching a high-def movie. I might be fine with something in between for casual web-surfing.