Inflammatory title, but Bob's point is that, while the telcos may be lumbering giants, taking on these powerful companies might just end with Google squashed underfoot:
Google made an unexpected reckless move in the wireless bandwidth market .... Google wants ... [to turn] what would have been yet another mobile phone system into a mobile Internet.Google seems to be biting off a lot these days. In addition to making Microsoft "hell-bent" to kill them, creating a spat with eBay, frightening the news media, angering the big movie and TV studios, and fighting Yahoo and the other search engines, now Google is threatening the telcos.
They don't know who they are messing with ... The wireless incumbents ... are mean and spiteful companies and WILL HAVE THEIR REVENGE.
The wireless carriers will spend whatever it takes to win ... because they don't want to change operational rules that have been very profitable for them over the years.
I'm all for tilting at windmills ... but Google has a lot at risk here and I think they are being foolish, even stupid.
What if Verizon, and AT&T, and Comcast, and half a dozen other huge broadband ISPs suddenly cut deals with some search company other than Google and your ISP-supplied browser and homepage no longer give such prominence to Google?
Yahoo ... fully supports Google's bold move, but you notice they didn't make it. Microsoft has been totally silent. Certainly Microsoft smells blood in the water and will be approaching all the outfits Google may have offended, trying to do exclusive search and ad deals with them.
Google is teasing too many lions. These media and telco companies are massive. They are not beyond using market power to crush those they do not like.
It does not matter if Google's products are technically superior. It does not matter if Google's goals are noble. If all of these powers align against Google, Google will not survive.
Update: Apparently, Google likes to tease lions in multiple ways. The NYT writes, "Some believe another major goal of [Google's] phone project is to loosen the control of carriers over the software and services that are available on their networks."