Gartner: Carriers should partner with Google on initiatives

In the 1960s, the rock band The Kinks sang, "I'm a lover, not a fighter."

Today, one industry analyst said the nation's telecom carriers would benefit from showing some love toward instead of fighting over issues such as net neutrality, white space spectrum usage and selling software-as-a-service over carrier networks.

If the carriers don't accommodate and partner in some areas with Google, they stand to lose, said Alex Winogradoff, a Gartner Inc. analyst who wrote a report on ways that Google could influence the future of telecom.

The coming battles could be large and industry-altering, but they are avoidable, said Winogradoff in an interview Thursday.

"For Google, it's all about access," Winogradoff said. "Google is not interested in competing as much as loosening the ties that bind. They want to be the store and source for all the world's information, as in all roads lead through Google ... Everybody gets sucked into its maelstrom."

If Google gives away free applications or capabilities that carriers have tried to charge for, that "destroys the carrier business model and disrupts the ecosystem ... that's Google's game," Winogradoff said.