Ovum Warns Telcos Against Google

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

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