Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Google to become a UK mobile operator?

Interesting speculation over at TechCrunch

They quote sources saying Google is close to starting a mobile network of its own as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in a deal with O2.

All sign-ups will be on line - no shops!

At the end of last year I predicted Google would launch its own mobile device. Rumours persist that this is getting closer to reality. The speculation is that a Google MVNO would supply selected Nokia phones with pre-loaded google apps. The pieces are falling into place.

There is much sense in this, especially when you consider the Google Mission statement: "To organise the world's information and make it universally accessible."

Mobiles are way more accessible than PCs.

Google has long predicted all calls/texts etc will end up free of charge - with this it has an opportunity to prove it.

Perhaps this is why adsense for mobile has not yet been launched in the UK?

This kind of convergence seems inevitable. Nokia makes the considerable effort of developing cool apps and stuffing their phones with them - only to have it all ripped out and replaced by operators (retailers) preferred bits and bobs.

Given this eternal waste of effort, it makes sense for Nokia to start its own MVNO - and Nokia stores will carry impressive brand weight in the High Street, too.

The difficult bit will be convincing an operator to let them in as an MVNO. But if google gets the door open, why not?

Nokia clearly sees its network of mobiles as having great value (operating on the edge of the network like pcs do on the fixed line web) - hence their attempts to get AdService rolling.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?