Google confirms plans of launching mobile network soon
Google has confirmed that it is working to launch a virtual mobile network service of its own.
The confirmation came via Google’s senior vice president of products, Sundar Pichai, who said the search engine giant was in talks with wireless carriers, and suggested an answer would arrive in months to come.
“We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale,” Pichai said in a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress trade show.
“We are working with carrier partners. You’ll see our answer in coming months. Our goal is to drive a set of innovations we think should arrive, but do it a smaller scale, like Nexus devices, so people will see what we’re doing.”
Pichai said Google’s cellular service would be a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. This means Google will purchase access to a cellphone network at the wholesale level. It won’t be a full-service mobile network in competition with existing carriers. Instead, it will give the search giant a platform through which it can experiment with new services for Android smartphones.
Pichai likened Google’s latest move to the launch its own line of Nexus smartphones, which he said was not aimed to compete with other smartphone makers, but to introduce innovations in mobile hardware.
Although Pichai didn’t mention names of Google’s wireless partners, previous media reports claim that the possible partners could be Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. Neither of the rumored carriers has confirmed those plans yet.