Long anticipated Google Fi is here. Specifically uncovered in regulatory filings last fall, providing a (good) network was a natural extension for a firm whose growth comes from increased internet usage. It turns out to have been considered since at least 2007. On Fi you’re on a, you guessed it, Wi-Fi network first. If none is available you get Sprint and T-Mobile’s Network, whatever is working best at the time. No doubt Google’s wireless network to come to help replace, ahem, compliment them.
This comes on top of — and ultimately related to — Google Fiber. One report a year ago had Google Fiber winning 75% market share…and 30% of low income households where after all the service at 5 megs is free. Who cares if Time Warner and Comcast had merged or not?
Free – or less than free – is tough to beat, and the writing is on the wall. Verzion and AT&T have higher quality networks…for now. As Bill Gurley says in the link regarding the GPS market:
Despite these challenges, it would be a dangerous strategy for any of the many threatened players in these markets to hang on to this “quality” rationalization for very long.
It’s hard to see how the cable and telco stock prices haven’t tanked in anticipation of the forthcoming price war against Google that only Google (or Facebook, or Amazon, or Apple) can win.
End of 4/24/2015 prices of giants that could fall:
T: $34.01 (5.7% dividend yield)
VZ: $50.03 (4.5%)
S: $5.27 (0)
CMCSA: $59.64 (1.7%)
GOOG: $565.06 (0)