Google Inc. on Tuesday attempted to placate mobile operators by portraying itself as their ‘friend’, dismissing rumours that it is planning to foray into mobile operator business in the foreseeable future.
Responding to the claims that Google was looking to turn wireless carriers into “dumb data pipes”, Google’s chief executive Eric Schmidt, during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, asserted that the company has no such desires at all.
Suspicions over Google’s reported entry into the mobile operator business bred out of the search giant’s recent move to sell Nexus One phone directly from its website, as well as the kind of investments it has poured in wireless and wired networks.
The search company has of late invested considerably in WiMax network infrastructure, and conducted trials of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology that has the capability to deliver one gigabit per second to thousands of households.
However, Schmidt noted that these aren’t the signs that the company is looking to compete with the wireless network operators in future.
Schmidt said in a statement: “We are not going to be investing in broad-scale infrastructure. It's a very tough business and it's not one for which we are very well optimized."
In fact, he said that the company is looking ahead to focus on enterprise software and search advertising businesses, with advertising will continue to be its major source of revenues. But clealy Google is putting the network operators in a very, very awkward position as a partner and a potentially fierce competitor.