JumpTap , a mobile search company, put out a white paper entitled "Why Not Google: The Argument for Carrier-branded Mobile Search"..
I discussed this same dilemma, and provided a couple ideas, with If I Was A Service Provider
JumpTap states:"This new industry report makes the argument that carriers face substantial financial risk if they allow major Internet providers, such as Google or Yahoo, to access the device deck, the subscriber base, and mobile search advertising revenue".
This seems like deja-vous all over again (AOL).
One of the best quotes "mobile search is positioned to be the next significant value creation opportunity for mobile operators around the world".
"More sophisticated mobile devices and increased use will push mobile search revenues over those of Internet search."
"Google Wants to Take the Value of the Carrier"
This paper is a GREAT READ. Email Peter Gorman at Topaz Partners for more info.
Here's what I see.
Once there's an mobile search (or any much desired) application that people want badly enough to download to their phone, service providers lose their dominance.
Imagine if Google says "to get a Google search box on your handset, send a text to 46645 and click on link to download. It can be easy as that.
The service providers have to be in front of the portals. What could they offer that both consumers AND advertisers would desire? What is the last thing the SP still controls and that they can use for leverage? Do you see it? I do.
There is a big money pie for mobile search coming, it's just a question of how greedy the players want to be.