Google Android phone on display at the Google conference in San Francisco, Thursday, May 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Could Google become your next phone carrier? Rumors about Google buying up fiber optics, launching high-speed Internet and ensuring continued market share and relevance could mean Google is going into the carrier business.
The speculation of a Google phone network, fueled by CNNMoney, has been neither confirmed nor denied by Google, but even if Google was preparing such a move, it would likely take a decade for completion. From the CNNMoney story:
As long as Google can get 300,000 new phones a day into customers' hands via the existing carriers, and as long as those devices allow consumers to download anything they want, there's no reason for them to compete, says Forrester Research analyst Jeffrey Hammond. . . ."While I think Google could become a mobile provider, I'd view it as a nuclear option," Hammond says.
Google's solid relationships with carriers like Verizon, allow distribution for their Google and Android products with minimal customer service or retail support. The company would also face opposition from federal regulators and the mobile industry who would fear the tech giant becoming larger.
I think it's more likely that Google is keeping its options open, testing the market, and seeing if becoming a provider is a worthwhile pursuit or, like Google Wave, it could simply be another grand idea to be shelved and forgotten.