& cplSiteName &

Analysts: Google Plans Lack Substance

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
11/7/2007
50%
50%

As much of the technology sector goes ga-ga for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) after this week's announcement of the Android open software initiative, industry analysts are excited, but many aren't yet sure exactly what to make of it. (See Google Makes Mobile Move, Google: Android's Not Evil, and Android's Data Impact.)

With the free Linux-based, open-source Android operating system, Google aims to speed the development of Internet applications for mobile handsets. And the Internet giant has galvanized an impressive list of mobile players to support the Android platform and kickstart the Open Handset Alliance . A few of the big shots in the alliance are China Mobile Communications Corp. , NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM).

But analysts are not clear on exactly what Google's proposition is, and some doubt Google's ability deliver on vague goals related to mobile advertising.

"It's difficult to analyze because they haven't given much detail," says John Delaney, principal analyst at Ovum Ltd. . "How much of this is about posturing and how much is it about delivering something new? We're always in danger of ascribing omnipotence to Google."

Delaney doesn't think Google's proposal to reduce the fragmentation in mobile phone software is actually all that new -- that's what Sun Microsystems Inc. has attempted to do with mobile versions of Java.

Vincent Poulbere, (another) principal analyst at Ovum, agrees that Google's plan lacks details.

"The announcement comes as a criticism of existing platforms -- namely Symbian Ltd. ," says Poulbere. "But it's an announcement without much concrete in it yet."

Ultimately, there is potential for Google to replicate its wired Internet advertising-based revenue model in the mobile sector. But the mobile advertising business model won't be a near-term reality because of the relatively low use of mobile Web services.

"That's a very steep hill to climb," says Delaney. "As more of [Internet applications] happen on the mobile phone, the more conducive it will be to advertising."

One analyst also questions how Google's ad-supported Web services will work for mobile pre-pay customers, which make up roughly 70 percent of the world's mobile users. In many markets, operators do not require pre-pay customers to register their personal details, which will make targeting those people somewhat of a challenge.

"Web content is not friendly for pre-pay customers," says Dean Bubbley, founder of Disruptive Analysis Ltd. . "Perhaps [Google] will be happy chasing after the same 30 percent of high-end contract customers [as everybody else]."

The one thing that didn't surprise analysts about the online giant's mobile move is the absence of a Google handset. They say the device manufacturing business is just too far removed from Google's business model, which is based on advertising revenues. (See The G-Phone Cometh, 3G G-Phone, G-Phone, No Strings, Google Phone: Out of India?, and Google's Mobile Hiring Frenzy.)

"I never thought they would develop a phone," says Delaney. "It's clear why Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) would, because it makes most of its money from hardware. Google doesn't make money from hardware or end customers."

"Google isn't looking to offer just a product," says Frank Dickson, chief research officer at MultiMedia Intelligence . "What they're doing is allowing people to monetize other applications."

As for Google's mobile infrastructure ambitions, those plans remain elusive. Google has indicated an intention to participate in the upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 700 MHz spectrum auction. And it has invested in femtocell startup Ubiquisys Ltd. . (See 'Open Access' Gets Closer, FCC Straddles Open Access Issue, Google Eyeing UK Broadband?, Apple Joining Consortium Bid for 700MHz?, Google Pledges $4.6B for Spectrum, and Femtocell Startup Pockets $25M.)

One analyst says that being some form of infrastructure provider is a more likely fit with Google's business model than making a mobile handset.

"Google has an interest in getting as much spectrum operating under an Internet model rather than a telecoms model," says Ovum's Delaney. "That fits with what they do. It's about furthering access to the Internet."

Bubbley at Disruptive Analysis is not convinced Google will actually become a mobile network operator, though. Rather, he could see Google partnering with a mobile operator to bid for spectrum in the U.S. or other markets.

At the very least, calling the mobile industry's soothsayers about Google's mobile move has produced an entertaining list of sound bites (or clichés). Here's a choice few:

  • "Google is trying to chuck a boulder into the pond of the mobile industry." — John Delaney, principal analyst, Ovum

  • "This is Google pulling its chair up to the mobile dinner table and saying, 'Thank you, can I have my share now?' " — Shaun Collins, senior analyst, CCS Insight

  • "This is a huge warning shot across the bows of everybody in the industry." — Collins, CCS Insight, again

  • "We see a battle of giants." — Vincent Poulbere, principal analyst, Ovum

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:59:13 PM
re: Analysts: Google Plans Lack Substance
Here's a columnist saying that if Android is to succeed, Google ought to become a wireless carrier:

http://www.mercurynews.com/col...

My opinion -- having Google in control of so many facets (the software, the apps, the network, the subscriptions) just isn't healthy, no matter how "open-source" it all is.
lrmobile_mosheb
50%
50%
lrmobile_mosheb,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:59:07 PM
re: Analysts: Google Plans Lack Substance
Google need not be in control of everything you mention in order to succeed, which in their case will be measured in volume of mobile traffic directed through their system to create ad revenues. Hpefully, just coming up with the ecosystem and the core OS should be sufficient to warrant wide adoption.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
,
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
VoLTE Can Drive 4G Small Cells Adoption
Ravi Narayanan, Senior Analyst – Cloud & Next Generation Mobile Networks, Heavy Reading, 8/18/2016
'Most Wanted' Kobi Comes Home
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 8/23/2016
Rocket Fiber Lights Up Detroit With Gigabit
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, 8/22/2016
CCIA Counter-Attacks on Set-Top Proposal
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.