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back to article Google aims at mobile operators' money supply

Google's voice telephony service is opening up to more users and revealing how it intends to make the operation pay, while operators are starting to consider what their future holds when everything goes through Google. Google Voice is a telephony service that provides a single phone number forwarded over existing mobile and …

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Anonymous Coward

Google the parasite?

They seem awfully good at taking the work of others (whether it be an OS kernal or a mobile network), creating new revenue streams of its own while squeezing the revenue of the owner.....

is that parasite or pirate?

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Rob
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FAIL

Errrr, no thanks....

.... I'd rather pay, if I have to listen to an advert while waiting in a call Q I'm hanging up.

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Badgers

Indeed

It may well be difficult to use the service if they put all the operators out of business.

Plus, advertising Joes Pizza whilst I'm phoning Dominos is downright stupid, I've made the decision who to call. Advertising anything to a hungry caller is bizarre, I could care less what you're trying to peddle when I'm hungry.

IF they extend call waiting just so that an entire advert can be played then I'd be be mad. I'm unlikely to use the service but even so it seems the world has gone advertising mad. Did nobody read the memo that says advertising doesn't work?

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Badgers

@lukewarmdog

Okay then, if advertising doesn't work, what do you propose to replace it with?

If anyone could make micro-payments work, then it is Google, but no-one out there is making any great waves with that idea at the moment.

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Troll

@lukewarmdog: But it does

Not on you, obviously, as an enlightened and self-aware individual whom is fully in tune with their environment and needs. No sir - you shall not be taken in, but the rest of the people can be fooled most of the time.

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WTF?

Advertising to captive markets

A year or three ago, here in the UK there was a "mobile media advertising" trend where LCD screens were installed on buses with the intention of renting out advertising time. Similarly other "captive audience" markets such as Post Office queues and doctors waiting rooms were targeted with adverts on TVs.

How successful were these?

Well I still see the hardware on the buses and occasionally in Post Offices but I never see it showing any adverts. The market decided that advertising like this does not work.

Obviously Google can peddle the "your advertising is targeted" tale, but will that make enough difference for their version to actually succeed?

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@ AC 14:55

Some few cabs with lcd screens displaying adverts mounted behind the driver for the viewing pleasure of the passenger. Though i have not spied any in a while, probably because people reacted like i did on my first encounter with them

(scence: enter overly tired me, at 6am into a taxi equipped with a advertising panel and speakers about to embark on a 30minute ride to the airport)

*adverts start*

... i say to driver, 2 minutes into journey "will these adverts be on all journey?"

"aye, i cannae do anything about them"

"stop the car, i'm getting out"

"nae bother, i'll turn 'em off"

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Content Director

In my opinion, journalism and advertising are both content, written or oral. Google should read the comments of an 18 year old in today's NYT's referencing "The Cronkite Generation: A communal Experience" - "The best kind of journalism, Mr. Cronkite showed us, holds informing above convincing, and honesty above persuasion."

As a mother and purchaser of "lots of pizza" - Google attempting to "waste my time" - tarnishes my brand view of Google. Continued attempts on behalf of Google to increase its bottom line revenue stream - at the expense of my time - will cause me to switch - permanently - to BING!

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and....

..i'm going to stop using Skype why???

Who cares that Google has a voice products. Its yet another attempt by Google to steal itself a market that is outside its own core business. Haven't we been here before with Microsoft?

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Unhappy

"informing above convincing, honesty above persuasion."

"informing above convincing, and honesty above persuasion."

Walter who?

Was he anything to do with Murdoch TV? Or the modernised BBC as defined by Blue Labour?

No, I thought not. He wouldn't stand a chance in the UK today; would his ideas even work on US PBS?

RIP Walter Cronkite 1916-2009.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/us/18cronkite.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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Flame

There's something I'm missing here.

Or the article isn't very clearly written. GoogleVoice is just a re-branded version of the Grand Central VOIP service (if memory serves). If it's VOIP then everything is data based and runs as an app on the chosen phone which has to be with a network provider to work. How can carrying voice calls over cellular data threaten the mobile TelCos? If the thing takes off all they'll do is block VOIP to GoogleVoice, start traffic shaping or start enforcing FUP's with an iron fist. Beyond that there might be an increase in SMS usage if people start getting notifications from GV.

To say that Google serving ads in a VOIP service are threatening the money supply of the big TelCos just makes for a weak and largely pointless article.

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Go

Only *some* revenue...

Yes, they're cutting out the insane international call charges and SMS prices, but the mobile company's still getting to charge for line rental, a data package and a load of regular national calls. If they can't survive on their current prices for those, maybe it's time to rethink those prices rather than whine about Google stopping them gouging text users and international callers?

If they had their act together, they'd have been offering the clever voicemail and "simultaneous ring" features of Google Voice for years by now - that's been a standard feature of their Nortel telephone exchanges for ages, they just never felt the need to allow their victim-customers to use that feature! Instead, BT launched web access to voicemail ... then suddenly pulled the plug on it, presumably because they couldn't handle the unfamiliar feeling of having actually given their customers a useful feature they actually wanted and used.

It's not actually available yet in the UK anyway, so Vodafone, O2, BT and co have at least a few months in which to figure out how to give us some useful features - or, in BT's case, give us *back* features we had already then lost! Or, they can stay true to form and try charging us for the use of fingers to dial, whine about the evils of voice activated dialling, then fold.

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Megaphone

replacing advertising

Why would I replace advertising with anything? I'm at a bit of a loss here. It's 11 pm and some bint on TV is telling me about washing powder or perfume or something. It's 11 am and the radio is telling me to scrap my car I think.

Wait, it's come to me. I could replace advertising with actual content! Like tv programs on the tv or music on the radio.

Crikey, I should patent this. I bet I could in the US.

Not advertising products, it seems to me, should make them cheaper. Have you seen the size of those advertising budgets? You could pay off national debt in other countries with them. Not our country, obviously.

I appreciate the advertising as subsidy argument but until I see figures I'll just point you right back at your OK Hello magazine.

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Grenade

@npupp 1

You were lucky with the ads in the Taxi.

In one of Robert Heinlein's stories (I think Podkayne of Mars) there are taxis with holographic adverts in them and the only way to do anything about them was to bribe the taxi driver to turn them down!

Grenade because... ;-)

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Pirate

It will work

Take and Gen Y and give them 2 choices:

1. have this plan/phone and pay for every call and sms

or

2. Have this phone/plan, call and txt for free if you are willing to listen to an ad.

I am sure you will find the vast portion of youf will choose option 2.

The mass market is youf, and they don't give a fuck, so long as its free.

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WTF?

Screw the Operators

Not sure why the operators can get away with all this whinging over revenues? It seems slightly illogical to offer something at less than it costs, and then whinge that your not making money.

It really isn't our fault your business practice and management skills suck.

If the price is too high for the consumer, then either you will invest and make it cheaper to run and therefore lower cost to us. Or the whole thing will be replace by something cheaper/better/faster.

Keeping it going with alternative and technically unrelated income streams is just stupid in the long term for the operators and the consumers.

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Stop

Horses for courses

Like everything else, folk will make their own decisions. Personally, I'd rather pay and have no adverts, but a quick office poll indicates that over half my colleagues here (6) are happy to listen to an ad to get a free call.

@The First Dave & Chris Dupont - I think Lukewarmdog forgot the </glib> tag in the last sentence of their 12:52GMT post (didn't they??).

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youf

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jul/13/teenage-media-habits-morgan-stanley

I don't think youf are a good target audience if they don't buy anything, seems counter-productive to advertise things to them.

What about adverts whilst you sleep in return for no advertising whilst you are awake?

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