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5 reasons Google’s move to become a wireless carrier may be doomed to fail

Published Jan 27th, 2015 9:45AM EST

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When Google enters a new space, it tends to do so with a bang. The Mountain View, California-based giant is one of the most innovative companies on the planet, and it is one of the few companies where “disruptive” is more than just a buzzword. Several reports in recent days have suggested that one of Google’s next big moves will be to take on wireless carriers here in the United States with the launch of a virtual carrier service that will be sold directly to end users.

While Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) efforts typically don’t pose much of a threat to established wireless network leaders like Verizon Wireless and AT&T, anything is possible when Google gets involved. According to one respected industry watcher, however, Google’s move to become an MVNO may already be doomed to fail

DON’T MISS: How Google plans to disrupt the carrier business

Phil Goldstein of FierceWireless has been covering the mobile industry for years, and his opinions and analyses are highly regarded. In a recent post, Goldstein turned his attention to rumors that Google is planning to launch an MVNO.

We have precious little to go on right now, and Goldstein makes it clear that his current opinions are based only on what little information can be found in unconfirmed reports. The FierceWireless editor doesn’t currently see much promise in Google’s upcoming efforts though, and he listed five key reasons why such efforts might be doomed to fail in a post on the site.

First and foremost, Google’s lack of experience could kill its efforts before they even get off the ground. The company has relied on OEM partners to engineer its Nexus phones in the past, but rumors suggest that devices running on Google’s virtual network will be able to switch between different carrier networks on the fly.

That would require pretty complex new technology, and Goldstein notes that Google has little if any experience designing cell phone radios.

Beyond that, an MVNO would require Google to set up call centers and retail distribution channels. Anyone who has ever had to troubleshoot a problem with a Google product knows that customer service is hardly a strong point for Google. And as for physical retail channels, Google is certainly not a veteran in the space.

For more three more key reasons Google may be doomed to fail along with additional details on the items noted above, follow the link down in our source section.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.