Telcos warned: Join Google's cloud

Telcos looking to offer cloud services to their customers would do well to get into bed with Google, analyst house Gartner has warned

Telcos looking to offer cloud services to their customers would do well to get into bed with Google, analyst house Gartner has warned.

Such is the take-up of Google's online services that telcos looking to expand into cloud-computing services could be wasting money and time by developing their own cloud apps that could potentially be inferior to those from the web giant, said the analyst.

Gartner research vice president, Alex Winogradoff, added that telcos should consider working with rather than against Google if they are going to successfully make an impact with cloud services: offering Google Apps to business customers as part of their product line, for example.

Gartner also suggested that Google's expanding areas of interest and influence are posing a significant threat to telecoms businesses in other ways.

Speaking to, Winogradoff said: "Google wants to achieve being the only place in the world to access information."

He added that anything that gets in the way of Google doing this — such as the traditional areas occupied by telcos — will be targeted.

According to Gartner, the company's strategies around spectrum and net neutrality mean ISPs and service providers need to rethink their approach.

Google recently convinced the US Federal Communications Commission to make a portion of the 700MHz spectrum — which was recently auctioned in the US — available for open access. The company wants to reserve spectrum for broadband services, according to Gartner, and is looking to do the same with unused or 'white space' television spectrum.

As a result, telcos are facing a challenge for access to wireless spectrum which could see them lose out on opportunities to extend what they can offer customers — for example, they might want to offer wireless broadband services, but find they face increased competition from the search giant for the necessary spectrum. By collaborating with Google, says Gartner, they could protect their interests by being able to participate in industry discussion about how spectrum is used and who uses it.

Google's promotion of network neutrality — the phenomenon whereby there is no prioritisation of certain types of content over the web — is another area that telcos need to pay attention to as the search giant looks to make it as easy as possible for consumers to access its services, Gartner said. If telcos oppose Google, they risk looking like they're trying to restrict consumers' access to services — an unpopular move — but equally they need to be careful not to lose out if they accept Google's approach, by opening the industry to more competition.

Summing up the approach telco stakeholders need to take, Gartner said they need to find common ground with Google and if they can't, find "creative ways to oppose Google on issues critical to their survival".