Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Find: Google to launch wireless service this year

Speaking of mvnos....


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Report: Google to launch wireless service this year
// Ars Technica

Update: The Wall Street Journal is corroborating this story with a report that makes this sound like a done deal. The Journal mostly focuses on the Sprint side of things, saying the MVNO agreement with Google went all the way up to the Sprint and Softbank CEOs. Apparently Sprint was worried it would be "letting a rival into the gates" by dealing with Google, but a clause limiting Google's customer base calmed the company's fears.

Reports about a rumored Google wireless service are cropping up again. The Information (subscription required) is reporting that Google plans to resell Sprint and T-Mobile services as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

The last time we heard about this was back in April 2014, when Google was supposedly talking to Verizon and Sprint. MVNOs are resellers of wireless access—they get access rights from one of the "Big Four" carriers and resell it to end users. Google does a lot of ISP work with things like Google Fiber, Project Loon, and the Space X investment, but those are all projects where it owns the hardware and is free to innovate. As a reseller, Google controls little other than the price and packages it provides to end users and the software it puts on devices it sells.

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