Google’s CEO thinks mobile phones should be free to consumers in return for them accepting advertising in various forms on the devices.

During a speech given to students at Stanford University, Eric Shmidt said that as mobile phones become more ubiquitously used for surfing the web, shopping, and texting, advertisers will be more and more eager to subsidise the devices.

Google, always keen to be innovating new revenue streams, is currently trialling advertisement through text and video ads, as well as branding. It’s ideas are hot property in Japan, where mobile phone usage for shopping and watching TV is common.

However, Schmidt did note that mobiles may not ever be completely free, comparing them to newspapers after they became ad-supported.

In the presentation Schmidt also noted that Google is working to figure out how to allow users to get control of personal data, which is currently stored on Google servers. He likened the idea to the US government-mandated program that allows mobile phone users to keep their mobile numbers when switching network providers.