Analysts at Gerson Lehrman Group have suggested that search engine operator Google should buy T-Mobile USA, a purchase that would give Google a whopping 33 million new Google Voice users overnight.
The research report, which was published last week, says that T-Mobile US is already the 4th largest mobile operator and like its UK counterpart, stands no chance of catching up with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint.
T-Mobile UK will be absorbed by Orange UK sometimes in 2010 in a deal that will make of the latter the biggest mobile phone network in the country while removing a thorn in the side of Deutsche Telekom.
GLG experts write that "With Google Voice and now the Nexus One, like it or not Google is becoming a telecom operator. Perhaps their relationships with carriers will go the way of their relationship with Apple … friends first, now direct competitors".
Google has announced two days ago that it would launch a project that aims to provide Gigabit broadband to tens of thousands of households. This alone is going to cost it around $1 billion according to some estimates.
Does it therefore make sense to allocate significant financial and human resources to a massive, high profile mobile phone network in the US? Certainly not.
Google, we suspect, could be willing to launch its own mobile network and maybe, like BT in the UK, allow others to use its wholesale network. Buying T-Mobile US would be a very expensive and counterproductive acquisition.