Although we typically believe smaller start-up firms are most likely to disrupt an industry, sometimes only a large firm can do so. So it is that Google will try to disrupt AT&T and Verizon by launching mobile service based on its becoming a mobile virtual network operator, with a new twist.
In addition to using third party Wi-Fi, Google apparently has signed up both Sprint and T-Mobile US as underlying access providers because Google wants devices used by its customers to switch between Sprint and T-Mobile US and Wi-Fi based on which network has the best signal “right now.”
In case you missed it, this is the same concept touted by supporters of fifth generation mobile networks.
Perhaps only a firm as large and wealthy as Google could try this, something that has not been attempted before (using two different wholesale providers), and which has a chance to disrupt the market more than any MVNO to date.
You might remember that it took Apple to revolutionize the relationship between handset manufacturers and the mobile service providers. Perhaps it is Google--more than T-Mobile US or Sprint--that now will disrupt the U.S. mobile market.