Google carrier ambitions the “nuclear option” says analyst

Dec 30, 2010
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Google's potential carrier ambitions are again being raked over, with suggestions that underwhelming net neutrality rulings, the failure of the Nexus One sales experiment to marginalize carrier control, and growing use of Google Voice are all signs that the search giant might cut out the middle man and run its own network. CNN Money reckons that Google's intentions are most clearly telegraphed in a September 2010 SEC filing by the company, in which they voice concerns that net neutrality regulations could allow carriers to "degrade, disrupt, or increase the cost of user access" to Google products and services.

"Some of these providers have stated that they may take measures that could degrade, disrupt, or increase the cost of user access to certain of our products by restricting or prohibiting the use of their infrastructure." Google SEC filing

While Google was pipped to the post by Verizon in 2008 in the last significant wireless spectrum auction, analysts still believe the search company maintains ambitions in the wireless space. Despite CNN's enthusiasm, it's not something that seems likely in the near future, and analysts agree. "While I think Google could become a mobile provider, I'd view it as a nuclear option" Forrester Research's Jeffrey Hammond claims, while others believe it's a thinly-veiled threat to keep operators "on their toes."


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