The following piece by Mobile Future Chair Jonathan Spalter originally appeared in The Hill’s Congress Blog.
One of the worst-kept secrets in Washington this week has nothing to do with which media outlet will land the biggest celebrity at this weekend’s White House Correspondents Dinner. Instead, it was Wednesday’s news that Google officially is entering the wireless service fray.
While the initial impact will be limited—the service is by invitation only and oddly is restricted to just one (non-iPhone) device—the perennial innovator’s leap into the mobile scrum is generating excitement. The primary attraction of Google Fi is the offer to consumers that they pay only for the wireless data they use. Idea-wise, Google is hardly first to the party. Republic Wireless has had a similar offer since 2011. And competitors across the board have consistently sought new ways to differentiate their services, as data rollover plans and other tantalizing offers continually emerge.
Google’s mobile debut comes at a time when the wireless landscape is roiling with change—fueled both by rapid innovation and intensive, market- and consumer-led competition. Today’s diverse fray is not unlike the sea-change in the entertainment business as mapped by Saturday night’s seating-chart—boasting stars from network stalwart’s like Modern Family, Scandal and Madam Secretary, but also from fast-emerging disruptors like Netflix and YouTube.
Read the full piece here.