SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Google Wants Internet Dial Tone Everywhere

Posted by Bob Warfield on November 6, 2007

I’ve read through the blizzard of blog posts on Google’s phone initiative, and I come away from it with one overriding impression:

Google Wants Internet Dial Tone Everywhere

This is all about creating more web activity on phones.  If Google has to give it away to crank that up, that’s not a problem for them.  It has little to do with taking over all mobile devices and it is not an attack on the iPhone.  It’s all about promiscuity of web dial tone: they want everyone to be able to access the web all the time.

Why do they care?  Because they own a tax on the Internet in the form of search and AdSense.  The more they can enable you to always be searching and viewing their ads, the more money they can make.  This is very basic for Google, and the franchise is so powerful that it’s worth making up-front investments to enable more Internet activity any way they can.  The corrollary of all this is that Google will want to break open the Invisible Web wherever it can.  OpenSocial helps this agenda by making sure the big Walled Garden Facebook has some counterbalance. 

Another way to look at it is that Google has reached such a level of critical mass and ownership of the web, that the web itself has become Google’s walled garden.  They have 90% share of search in France, and around 71% worldwide, which is a pretty solid monopoly if you look at it.  It makes sense for them to keep pushing to hold and grow those shares.

Their phone strategy is off to a good start, with 34 partners including T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel, NTT Docomo, China Mobile, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Qualcomm, Intel, and Google itself.  It feels a little like the OpenSocial world from the standpoint that AT&T is absent, presumably playing the role of Facebook in this particular drama by using the proprietary iPhone.  Nokia is somewhat cast in the role of MySpace given their handset hedgemony, so we’ll have to see if they jump in at a little later date.  Even if the iPhone doesn’t take over, it will have whetted the appetite for what really good web access on a phone can be, and that will ultimately further Google’s goals by getting more good access out there on phones.

One Response to “Google Wants Internet Dial Tone Everywhere”

  1. engtech said

    reminds me of when I was working on telecom chips… I kept suggesting that we needed to invest some engineers in developing p2p to push the need for our chips🙂

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