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May 20, 2010
11:00 AM -- Don’t let its friendly moniker, fool you; Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) poses a greater long-term threat to the telecommunications industry than any other company of its kind, analyst firm Ovum Ltd. says today in a dramatic press release.
Google will continue to strike fear into the hearts of telcos until they ultimately have to choose one of two options: Exploit the search giant’s weaknesses or just surrender now.
It’s not just that Google is (most likely) investing in a TV strategy today; it’s that it will invest in any strategy it needs to achieve its ultimate goal: world domination... I mean, ad placement in front of as many people as possible, wherever and whenever it can. (See Tuning In to Google’s TV Intentions.)
Ovum says this aim is straining traditional telcos’ ability to roll out new and profitable services to their subscribers. And it is not just telcos either -- cable companies, satellite companies, broadcasters, and anyone else with a presence in the living room aren’t safe.
“Google’s ability to leverage its cloud services core to infiltrate new screens marks it out as a competitive threat to even the most converged of today’s service providers, including Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) in the US and Orange France / Orange (NYSE: FTE) in France,” Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps writes in the release.
So what’s a telco to do? If they can’t beat 'em (which they probably can’t), Ovum recommends joining 'em. The report said thinking like a developer instead of a platform, investing in core assets, and looking for ways to complement Google are the best strategies for self-preservation.
If the incumbents want to beat Google at “its own game” (although, ironically, it wasn't Google's "game" to begin with), they must do it properly, “with sufficient investment and commitment in systems, software, and community-building.”
Telcos, consider yourselves warned.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile
Director, Women in Comms
Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.
She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.
As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.
Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.
Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.
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