Mobile devices

Google Carrier: Is Google Going to be the Next AT&T?

google-phoneWill Google Android phones soon be using Google Carrier? Google’s long-term plan may go beyond Google Fiber and result in a fully-fledged Google telephone network. This could have widespread ramifications for Android users and even the global telecommunications market. Even more intriguing, it may actually be inevitable.

Google Phones Without Service?

What’s started the buzz about Google’s possible carrier service? The rumors have existed for some time. Since as early as 2009, many experts have believed that Google was positioning itself to become a mobile carrier rather than just a mobile developer. In 2012, Google began trying to procure a partnership with Dish Network as a potential way to create a wireless service. Throughout 2013, Google continued to dabble with the potential of creating its own wireless network and in 2014, Google Fiber made it a more than likely possibility.

How Does Google Fiber Fit In?

Google Fiber is an interesting experiment. Google is entering into the Internet service market by rolling it out in certain regions. This can easily be seen as a proof of concept; the Google mobile service would likely be rolled out in a similar way. In 2013, Google began targeting emerging markets for their telecommunications service similar to the way that Google Fiber has been rolled out.

While Google Fiber is still in development, there has been an extraordinary amount of consumer and political interest. Many cities and states have tried to encourage Google to build in their area, seeking a potential increase in local commerce.

The wireless service can be rolled out into Fiber-accessible areas, such as Kansas City. It can piggyback off of the already created infrastructure by Google, thereby making it easier for them to create service.

What Are the Benefits of Google Carrier?

Should Google Carrier become a reality, it will be directly competing with the likes of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and more. The larger network carriers have remained without significant competition for some time. Google may be one of the few companies who can actually counter these large network carriers due to the amount of money they can throw at the project.

While many have believed that entrenched ISPs could not be countered, Google has been able to roll out its fiber network by sinking in money now in hopes of returns later. The sheer amount of money that Google is able to throw at the problem is what makes them a formidable opponent.

Could There Be a Downside to Google Carrier?

There have already been some major privacy concerns with the development of Google Fiber. Tech expert, Jason Hope (http://sens.org/outreach/outreach-blog/release-internet-entrepreneur-jason-hope-pledges-half-million-dollars-sens) notes, “There are issues that arise when a single company has access to all of a consumer’s data. Google is rapidly positioning itself within a wide range of industries and increasingly gaining control over consumers in all aspects of their lives.”

An Android phone with a Google cell network would be extremely different from an iPhone on AT&T’s network. The hardware, software and connectivity of the phone would ultimately be under the control of Google; Google would have access to everything a consumer did on their phone.

The question will then be: how long can Google remain committed to “don’t be evil”? A Google cell phone network is more than just a cell phone network; it could also connect to the Google Fiber network, which in turn would connect to Google accounts and Google+. In fact, Google Carrier could represent the ultimate death of consumer privacy.

Google may or may not become the next major mobile carrier, but it is promising. If Google does decide to begin carrying their own phone service, the consequences could be remarkable. Android phones could be sold with Google phone contracts or even without contracts at all. Increased competition could only be best for the customer and lower prices across the board. With that in mind, Google’s continued development into telecommunications and Internet services could potentially lead to some increased privacy concerns that might have to be dealt with in the future.

Amy Taylor is a business and technology writer. Amy began her career as a small business owner in Phoenix, AZ. She enjoys writing about business technology trends. When she isn't writing, she enjoys hiking with her Alaskan Malamute, Sam.

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