Here comes Google!!
by mobileman (09/14/2007 – 04:33)
Here comes Google…
The market has yet to catch it’s breathe on the Iphone, as rumors of the Google phone continue to circulate. Google, like Apple, is a world class capable company that innovates at a dizzying pace.
Its resources seem almost limitless as it sets it sights on a bigger slice of the mobile market. Will it just be a handset?, A bid on spectrum, an outright purchase of a wireless carrier? If I were sitting at Google I would proceed with great caution.
Google should dust off all the press of the failed ESPN MVNO and learn from it. ESPN has wonderful content, a killer brand and is a marketing powerhouse. Their mobile content was on every carrier, with application innovation in sports being pushed and pushed. With these assets as a base, ESPN took the leap of faith to launch an MVNO and become a retail wireless carrier.
The skill set to become a successful carrier include: Retail distribution, mobile handset sourcing, customer service, billing, wireless network knowledge, wireless network operations (even if you have an MVNO),and mobile feature innovation across all mobile features (voice, IVR, LBS, games, music, social networking, messaging, etc.) Look at the above list and determine which competencies ESPN had before they decided to place a big bet on wireless?
Great content is not enough. ESPN had an overly expensive phone, with limited distribution, a post pay model, few features other than sports, no family plans, etc.
Virgin Mobile has been successful because they actually ran other wireless MVNO services (in the U.K) before they launched in the U.S. They had the necessary corporate skill set and have been successful.
This now gets me back to Google. On the surface it has some direct parallels to ESPN. Google’s existing wireless services are very popular and are on most every carrier. They are best in class at innovating web based products and then applying those features and functionalities to mobile. They have just launched a version of their incredible cash engine, adwords, for mobile applications.
As was the case for ESPN, they are firing on all mobile cylinders. By continuing on their present course, they will be a significant and dominate player in mobile content, search, applications and advertising for the foreseeable future.
Is the talk and effort on spectrum auctions and Google handsets a negotiating tactic for better terms from existing carriers, or is it the far reaching aspirations of the web’s most dominate player? Is it a tactic, a strategy or corporate hubris?
Google clearly has the financial capability to acquire all the wireless network talent and competency it needs to compliment its web prowess, should it choose.
The moves that Google makes, and succeeds or fails at, will have industry forming impact for years to come.
This is a very interesting time for all of us!
Even these carriers have Google