Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Carrier End Run

When we rolled out Mobilcast we thought one of its great advantages is that it didn't require a carrier offering in order for consumers to get it and use it. Some called a carrier end run. At least one of my colleagues warned that no application in the history of mobile has been able to work around the carriers. Indeed we're talking with carriers about creating Mobilcast-basd offerings.

Google is going to change the carrier equation, and cut carriers out of the mix entirely. Google has the clout and brand to bring users in directly, using the carriers as dumb pipes only. Carriers may resist and try to apply extra data charges or lock users out of the Google services entirely but it won't work because consumers will rebel. Ultimately the carriers will try to work with Google to create some type of deal, but again Google won't do it. They don't need to.

I can only think of 2, maybe 3 companies that have the type of clout to pull of a sustained carrier end run like this. I think most companies ultimately take the path of least resistance. Google won't. I suspect they'll eventually create a model that even us smaller guys can emulate to as extent.

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