Google's wireless service - is it what customers want?

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Prykhodov)

First announced back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google is due to launch their phone service from tomorrow. The big question is, will Google be able to deliver an attractive-enough proposition that customers will want to switch from their current national mobile provider?

According to research from Amdocs, this is where Google could have an issue. In their 'Customer Experience Spotlight 2015' survey, respondents preferred the idea of a traditional service provider rather than an "Over-the-Top" (OTT) disruptor like Google's new MVNO service. 

Other key findings from the report: 

  • 80% of respondents would not consider switching to OTT disruptors if these players offered mobile connectivity 
  • The top reasons were: privacy & security issues, lack of trust and potential network quality issues 
  • Global variations were significant, though – the majority of APAC and emerging markets were more likely to consider OTT disruptor services, while mature markets in Europe and North America proved more loyal 

Google's new service will piggyback on Sprint and T-Mobile's established networks dependent on who has the strongest signal at the time, and will be limited to just owners of Nexus 6 handsets to begin with. Most interesting, however, is the model which Google has chosen to take... 

The big question is, will Google be able to deliver an attractive-enough proposition

Instead of customers paying for a set package, they will only pay for how much data they consume each month. As for calls and texts, these can be routed through Wi-Fi to help reduce bills even further. That is certainly one way to shake-up the industry, or at least get the attention of other players in the market... 

The closest mobile network in the US which offers a similar service is T-Mobile with their 'Data Stash' initiative which allows customers to roll-over their unused data into the next month for up to a year in order to ensure the full allowance is used. AT&T offers a similar service, but data will only roll-over for one month before it must be used. 

It is with unique innovations which Google intends to disrupt the market with. Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President of Google, said at MWC this year: "Our goal is to drive a set of innovations which we think the ecosystem should adopt, and hopefully will get traction if our carrier partners think they’re good enough.” 

Google hasn't yet announced how widespread the service will be, but it will likely be a slow and steady rollout much like the company's high-speed 'Google Fiber' broadband service. National providers have little to worry about at the moment - or potentially ever according to Amdocs' survey - but they will be paying attention regardless. 

Do you think Google's mobile network will be disruptive? Let us know in the comments.

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