Google Reveals Plan to Offer Wireless Service

Add Your Comments

The greatly anticipated Google wireless service will be revealed “in the coming months,” the company confirmed this week. Speaking at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Google SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps Sundar Pichai responded to a question by setting a timeline for the announcement.

A company spokesman later confirmed that “in the coming months” we can expect the announcement, rather than the launch of the service, CNET reports. Pichai also explicitly and implicitly revealed a number of details about what Google wireless will be and how it will work.

The service is not meant to directly compete with Android vendor partners, and is meant to be comparable to the Nexus program in terms of its partner relationships.

“We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale,” Pichai said in the MWC keynote address. “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.”

Google is reportedly working with Sprint and T-Mobile, The Verge says, to create a hybrid wireless service using both Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Pichai did not confirm network partners by name, but did say that Verizon and AT&T have been informed about Google’s plans.

Pichai also mentioned that two years into Project Loon, which seeks to provide global connectivity using balloons, Google is able to keep cellular radios floating for up to 200 days. This project and Project Titan, which aims to fill gaps in coverage with drones, could eventually provide the infrastructure for a wireless service which Google currently needs partners to provide.

When asked if Google plans to offer a service below the major providers’ price points, Pichai suggested that the plan was rather to differentiate the service with innovations related to connectivity, consistency and quality.

“I think we’re at the stage where we need to think of hardware, software, and connectivity together,” said Pichai. “We want to break down the barriers on how connectivity works.”

Google Fiber has begun connecting consumers to its relatively low-cost, high-speed domestic service in Austin, in another move potentially disruptive to the US telecom industry.

Add Your Comments

  • (will not be published)