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Opinion: Richard Goold on Google’s Project Fi

Google Project Fi Main Pic

Since Google announced its Project Fi initiative, there has been a lot of chatter about what it means for the mobile operators, and whether Google’s efforts will disrupt the market for the better.

Today’s post is by Richard Goold of Moorhouse, who has 8 years experience as a management consultant including 5 years in executive leadership roles in both owner-managed and corporate (plc) organisations. He specialises in business and customer strategy; business transformation including operating model development; service delivery and high growth and emerging markets in the Telecommunications, Media & Technology (TMT) sectors.

Over to you Richard…

The continued convergence of TMT is causing the industry to change at the most fundamental level. As well as the continued rise of merger, acquisition and integration activity alongside a continued drive by organisations to provide packaged products and services, many companies are disrupting the TMT landscape by moving into sectors that they have not previously entered.

Google announced its first move into the mobile phone network business in recent months. They have differentiated themselves fundamentally as they will only charge Project Fi customers for the data they actually use, offering money back to customers that pay for data they don’t need. This will put even more pressure of data tariffs offered up by the mobile operators.

Project Fi is not a new network and Google will ultimately be reliant on networks built and run by external companies. Their network service will also jump between a mobile network and wifi hotspots rather than being run solely by Google.

This is not an isolated move by Google. EE have recently announced the launch of their own branded smart phone called the Harrier. As the kit makers (Google) become mobile service providers and the traditional MNOs (such as EE) develop handsets, it will be interesting to see if this ever becomes too disruptive for the consumers.

While companies may feel the need to jump on other’s bandwagons in order to grow and gain market share, it is key to get what you currently do right first (including things like customer service) and before extending your offering. Organisations that want to remain dominant must make sure their businesses are truly centred around, and focused on the customer. If they do not then the consequences are likely to be both significant and immediate.

Ultimately, organisations must ensure that they are fulfilling their commitment to their existing customers, staff and investors before looking at significant mergers and acquisitions activity. It is much harder to change a new, larger organisation with significant unknowns than the one you have and know well already.


Mobile Industry Review would like to thank Richard Goold, partner at transformation consultancy Moorhouse, on the launch of Project Fi.

You may also find more details about Richard via his LinkedIn profile.

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