Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bye bye MTN/ Airtel/ Orange/ Warid, here comes Google/ Microsoft/ Apple as your new local voice and data service providers

I know some skeptics will disagree with me on this one, but only time can prove me wrong. With the recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google, the game plan for the world’s leading technology giants seems to be taking a new twist.

It all started out with Oracle acquiring Sun Microsystems and suing Google for patent infringement over the use of Java on the Android operating system, then Google acquiring Motorola Mobility at a hefty 12.5 billion dollars because Motorola seems to have a number of mobile hardware patents under their belt, some of which are used by Apple.

Since there are claims that Apple has been backing Oracle to sue Google for using Java on the Android OS, Apple may now have to tread carefully following a recent patent infringement suit filed by Motorola Mobility against Apple’s illegal use of their patents on Apple gadgets.

With all these accusations and counter-accusations by the technology giants, we can only expect the fight for dominance to grow even further and entangle mobile network operators in the “fracas”.

With Nokia engaging in acquisition talks with Microsoft, there’s a clear indicator that mobile handset manufacturers are dying a slow death by succumbing to pressure from the world’s tech giants to either sell out or fail at innovation, as it is the case with the recent failure by smart phone manufacturers to develop mobile software to the standards of Android/ iOS/ Windows Mobile (Symbian OS has failed to keep up with the trends in mobile OS software).

As some mobile handset manufacturers sell out their hardware patents, we can surely expect the war to shift to mobile network operators. If mobile network operators fail to meet the fast changing trends in the mobile communications sector, the tech giants will again move fast to acquire them to control and spur mobile innovation. Ten years from now, am pretty certain Google/ Microsoft/ Apple will be in talks to acquire MTN, Airtel, Orange and Warid network infrastructure, and before you know it, your simcard will be registered to the Google Uganda network ! 


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