09/02/10

By Chris Lennartz, Vice President of Marketing for Airwide

The launch of Google’s Nexus One has generated a lot of noise in the press and simultaneously piqued consumer interest. With all the buzz around and reviews of Nexus One, operators will soon find themselves at an interesting crossroads, though.

While Nexus One has laid the ground work, as many believe, to end carrier control, operators will also have a unique opportunity to review how and what they are doing (and should do) to differentiate their services and find ways to make customers loyal to their specific service. After all, with carrier agnostic phones, like Nexus One, consumers will have the power to chose whatever operator and service plan best fits their needs and budget.

Additionally, Google will not only be able to sell phones directly, but with Google Voice they will also offer core ‘operator’ services like voice and SMS, and with Google Wave they will move that into IM and email, etc.

With all these services and offerings, Google will move to become an end-to-end service provider by controlling the services and the devices on which they run, so the only thing they’ll lack is the physical connection. In other words, in Google’s case it looks like they want to/will be a direct competitor to operators when it comes to telecoms services.

So, operators will need to focus on things like quality of service (as Google is not in a position to control that, as they don’t have a network), enabling and enhancing services on all phones (as Google only controls the Nexus and one or two others), offering and enhancing a wide range of Web Services (as Google will focus on their own), and leverage their billing relationship (as Google doesn’t have one).

All these things will continue to make operators relevant and crucial for consumer mobile communication. But, as we’ve already seen, operators have a lot at stake and will need to offer unique, quality services to keep consumers loyal to their specific services, especially when the time comes to chose a service provider and plan.

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