What will the communications market look like in ten years I wonder? It may be difficult to forecast incredible change and disruptive technologies but it is relatively easy to predict what will happen based on what we know today.
1) We see more video being transmitted over broadband networks.
2) Google is rolling out new services on a daily basis and using advertising to support many of them.
3) AT&T and Verizon are not huge fans of the search leader as they are envious of the companies using their pipes to transmit services which make money for Google.
4) The government does not seem to care that much about network neutrality.
So with these four points in mind let’s look at what needs to take place for Google to continue operating in a hostile service provider environment:
They need access to consumers directly.
It is that simple really. If the service providers continue to be the gatekeepers to Google the company risks its future. It is tough to see the US government stepping in and enforcing net neutrality at this point so this means Google must have a network — and quickly — to ensure it has a seat at the service provider table.
Of course Google does not want the messiness associated with becoming a service provider but they just have no choice but to protect themselves.
Many people have written me recently saying there is no way that Google will buy Sprint in response to a recent article on the matter. The feeling is that they just don’t want all the “junk” that comes with being a service provider.
And their thought process is 100% correct. But this does not mean Google does not need ownership of a network of some kind. In fact they likely need to own multiple networks worldwide.
How this plays out is unknown but it is plain to see the search giant needs leverage to keep its profit-generating machine alive. If you look at this situation from this perspective, an acquisition or investment in one or more service providers is almost guaranteed.