Google Working On Its Own Wireless Services

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 23, 2015

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Google is reportedly working on its own wireless service for phones by using networks of T-Mobile and Sprint. Several reports confirmed that the project is already underway. By purchasing bandwidth from two of the big four national carriers instead of building its own wireless network, Google would be launching what’s known as mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

According to a source familiar with the initiative, the project, codenamed “Nova”, is expected to be launched later this year who added that Google was considering launching mobile phone plans for markets where it sells Google Fiber internet service.

Experts believe the  company’s interest in providing internet service directly to consumers has grown in recent years, both in developed markets — Google Fiber, for instance — and in rural areas through Project Loon and Google’s recent investment in SpaceX.

Verge reported that this is not the first time a valley player has thought about launching an MVNO. Google, Apple, and other Valley giants have been tied up in MVNO rumors for many years, dating back to the launch of the original iPhone. “The appeal is simple: by controlling the network, companies can better control the experience on the devices they sell and support. And by aggregating multiple carriers — as Google’s so-called Project Nova is rumored to do — the company would be able to offer a larger coverage footprint.

For Google, though, it’s about more than a better user experience. The company wants to get creative with plan pricing, believe some analysts. To do that, the tech major is experimenting with “communication apps” of some sort, though little is known about what those might be.

This may also be a step up to a bridge a future where Google more directly controls a ubiquitous, high-speed global internet connection, which is certainly possible between Loon, drones, and satellites. In the meantime, it could launch an MVNO in concert with its Nexus devices and other unlocked phones — and that might happen in the coming years.

Experts opine that Google indirectly competes with telecom operators through its video and voice services. However, the company’s foray into wireless market would make it a key rival to Verizon and AT&T, while complicating its bond with carriers.