Google and Dish Network have been in the news a lot lately, and for good reason: it seems as though Google is very interested in becoming a wireless carrier, potentially partnering with Dish and its wireless spectrum that was purchased back in 2008.
This matters. And I think it matters a lot. Let’s talk hypothetically: imagine Google enters the wireless carrier space, whether through Dish or some other path. What does that mean for other networks like Verizon and AT&T, or even Sprint? Both Verizon and AT&T have completely embraced Android up to this point, with both carrying the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S3, which is currently outselling the iPhone 5. Most devices being sold on these networks are Android, which is owned by Google.
If Google entered the space, why would Verizon and AT&T want to fund and sell their competitor’s system? This is a serious consideration for Google. Entering this market will definitely anger the likes of the Red and Blue.
Here’s my prediction, and it’s a stretch. I believe that if Google enters the market as a wireless carrier, this move will be so earth-shattering that Verizon and other wireless carriers will be forced to stop supporting Android devices. If this is the case, my second prediction is that the mobile device and wireless carrier battles will overlap. I believe that there would be serious considerations by all wireless carriers to look into supporting only one mobile operating system.
For example, Google would only run Android devices on its network, giving them complete control of their entire mobile ecosystem. This could lead to better services, better devices, and potentially better prices. Verizon would then choose a platform. My prediction for the Big Red would be that it will choose to go with Windows Phone 8. AT&T would take the obvious choice of going with iOS. Apple would love to have complete control over its ecosystem, and going with only one wireless carrier in the U.S. would give them that. Sprint would feel a little left out, as it does now, and be forced to choose a poor performing platform like Blackberry or some other variation.
After all that, the real war over our mobile lives would begin. This would be the biggest shift in the wireless industry in years, but I think it is entirely possible.
Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.
Image credit: Shawn Collins