April 16, 2014

ZDNet Thinks it's Time for "Google Clearwire" as Service Provider

The concept sounds simple enough – Google buys out the majority of Sprint and rebrands as a new wireless carrier. Dana Blankenhorn of ZDNet.com thinks that the time is now for Google to act on a purchase of Sprint Nextel. In case you spend a majority of your time living under rocks, Sprint has been hemoragging customers to the tune of nearly 1 million per quarter.

While tests and deployment of WiMax are moving ahead, no one trusts the Sprint brand (and with good reason — I’m a dissatisfied customer). It actually lost 901,000 customers last quarter.

The answer is simple. Buy the preferred, becoming Sprint’s largest shareholder. Then, with institutional support, change the brand name to Google Wireless. Or Google Clearwire.

Customers will immediately give the company a second chance. Google gets a large retail network for pushing Android phones and WiMax cards, as well as Google swag and the Google brand.

I could see a lot of people taking a second look if Google’s name was at the top. By and large, the public has soured on the name Sprint. I work with T-Mobile and I hear horror stories on a regular basis when customers tell me what it is that they don’t like about their current carriers. It’s not a myth that Sprint’s is among the worst.

I’ll start the ball rolling here for discussion. First and foremost, slapping a new name on the same old company would not be enough. It starts with bringing in sales reps and customer service agents who at least appear to care. It would be a bonus if they really did. I’m reminded of the lipstick on a pig analogy. The sad truth is that they should be doing this already, regardless of the name above the door.

In regards to the timing, I would agree with Dana. We’re going to get away from the “minutes” discussion and more into the data realm. What speeds you get and what you can do with the devices will be the focal points. It would be very easy to sell the new order of the day if it had the Google logo on it.

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What do you think of Blankenhorn’s theory? Does it make sense? What else needs addressed?

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