Google Fiber is becoming more than just a story on how select cities in the U.S. can now power up their internet speed 100 times faster than current broadband.
Traditional Internet Service Providers (ISP) serve up an average 14 Megabites per second (Mbps), while Google Fiber delivers a whopping 1 Gigabites per second (Gbps). How fast is that? Say you want to download a high definition movie, here’s the simple math on how long you’ll wait:
• 14 Mbps = 10 minutes, 56 seconds
• 1 Gbps = 7 seconds
Although it’s only available in a handful of cities such as Austin, Provo and Kansas City, it’s obvious the residential broadband and wireless market has a love affair need for super-fast speed.
But now there’s speculation Google may just be getting ready to throw their hat into the wireless services game. According to an Ad Age report, the 1 Gig race has inspired carriers such as ATT, Comcast and Verizon to step up to the plate with similar offers .
Mobile carriers have long resold phone services through shared mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreements. It allows them to bundle and sell under-used cell tower services between carriers. But with Google Fiber, they may just be planning to change they mobile business model with cheaper, faster access for millions of subscribers.
At this writing, Google Fiber provides wired and WIFI services directly competing with ISPs which had local markets locked up for decades. But now there’s speculation Google may be laying the fiber groundwork to eventually build their own MVNO becoming a wireless carrier.
Too soon to tell? Yes.
In order for Google to offer mobile services, they would need to do one of two things: build their own global network of cell towers or resell current air time owned by T-Mobile and Sprint. A Washington Post news story suggests the latter is more likely with Google buying wholesale access to cell towers and reselling them under the Google mobile name.
But don’t forget Google’s efforts in the last fifteen years to bundle free services has tethered millions of users to their core products such as Gmail and Docs. If they were to develop a similar ‘freemium’ approach to wireless, they may just corner the mobile market by offering a host of free services.
Change is always what drives a competitive market. Consumers always benefit through enhanced services and cheaper prices. However, if Google was to jump into the mobile market, they would need to also toss their hat into the customer service arena.
Who hasn’t had to call or visit their provider to troubleshoot or pinpoint why their service or bill wasn’t quite as ordered? Customer service is always where the rubber meets the road on how the public perceives value. No doubt, the mobile industry will be keeping a keen eye on how Google moves forward dovetailing fiber into what may just turn the mobile industry upside down.