Google Android software stack: Google's gift to the telcos. Or Trojan Horse? Adam Soroca, GM of Jumptap, sees dangers in mobile operators inviting Google inside their castle walls.
With Sprint sprinting to join the Open Handset Alliance and T-mobile mobilizing to ride the Android wave, who will own the valuable search real estate on mobile phone platforms? Who will monetize search traffic and own the relationship with the mobile operators' current customers?
The biggest danger to carriers? Consumers will be able to bypass mobile operators altogether.
Soroca, a former exec with Google competitor Lycos, shared some insights into Google's likely long-term strategy. "The Google toolbar watches everything users do online in real time," he said. "Look at what Google can do with mobile phones: see every contact people dial, track and serve what ads they see. It's clear their intent is to have all search and advertising run through their toolset -- from Google AdWords and customer acquisition through the final Google Checkout transaction."
Google Android Trojan horse inside the mobile operators' walls would challenge Jumptap's white label search platform for mobile operators. Jumptap's software platform and service helps operators maintain their relationship with subscribers and retain search and advertising revenue.
Google's efforts to create standards and open APIs for mobile platforms is a terrific benefit to the industry, notes Soroca. Google's reach, powerful brand, and developer incentives will speed the industry's move toward open platforms. In short, it's a Google gift for mobile operators, mobile search, and local search on mobile devices.
It's not a gift, though, that will keep on giving.
"Android is more than just a Trojan horse," said Soroca. "Android can take awy all search and advertising revenue streams from mobile operators, who have the opportunity to become one of the most sophisticated and targeted ad networks on the planet."