I know, it sounds crazy but while some companies are all going Web 2.0 and Social Networking the greater landscape is changing in the U.S. Remember when the Yellow Pages was the place to search for stuff? Then Google after many others came along, and now we all Google right? Guess what we don’t do? We don’t all Google from our mobile doohickeys as often as we do with our web browsers, some of us do but many don’t.
Deals such as this one with a behemoth like Verizon makes you wonder where Google is going with Mobile. Back in the late 90’s the Yellow Pages didn’t stand a chance to compete with search engines because they didn’t see the train coming. Things are different now, you’ve got to take notice when Verizon partners with a mobile search firm that has secured 28M in funding. Why? Because the providers have lock-in on the devices and so they have some say over things like the applications that run on these devices (think default search engine for our network of millions of users).
Google, unlike the Yellow Pages certainly can see this train coming or they wouldn’t be so interested in the 698 to 806 MHz band. They need it open or they might have a difficult time as long as the masses are locked-in. If you’re a telecom you don’t want Google in the space and if your Google you need to find a way in because mobile is going to grow. It’s sorta equivalent to the last mile in the networking world, except with mobile the curb moves.
Google has a 160B market cap and they’ll put fear into many a company but the telecoms know this game, it’s their turf and someone like Verizon with a 130M market cap of their own can lob one across the bow of a Google.
Here’s where a partnership can make for an interesting future for companies that are trying like heck to compete with each other right now. Suppose Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, IBM and perhaps Apple formed an open alliance and took the telecoms on for the 698 to 806 MHz band? That’s a formidable group that could put up a tremendous challenge for this space and in the end we consumers might benefit greatly from something such as this if the alliance vowed to make it open for consumers, companies and developers alike.
That’s my crazy weekend pie in the sky idea, what’s yours?