Google is reportedly planning to launch a US wireless network as an MVNO. That means that the company would piggyback on existing network infrastructure instead of building out its own towers. But the idea behind Google’s foray into the Mobile Virtual Network Operator space would be for Google to help drive down the cost of mobile data for customers.

After all, the less you have to pay for mobile data, the more likely you are to use Google Search, Maps, YouTube, and other services on your phone (and to see Google ads).

The company is said to be planning to operate on Sprint and/or T-Mobile networks.

nexus 6_0

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12 replies on “Lilbits (1-21-2015): Will Google launch a phone network?”

  1. Google can’t even launch a damn Nexus phone, let alone a phone service. No thanks. Google won’t even take my money for a White 64gb Nexus 6.

  2. Not sure this is really a big deal. As long as Google is piggybacking on the existing carriers they can put the brakes on any time they want (just like with Netflix on wired internet) regardless if it is legal or not. They will get away with it. The big deal is the satellite based internet system Google is building with Elon Musk. With no ties to the old guard they will be able to provide a level of service we in the States have never seen at an affordable price. That is, once all the lawsuits from Comcast and Verizon are settled.

  3. Everyone else seems to be able to sell the Sprint network… why can’t Sprint?

  4. Canada has Mobilicity for sale (AWS frequency – TMobile uses it in the USA). They come with a debt load but nothing that a juggernaut like Google couldn’t handle easily. Wind Mobile is their direct competition on the same frequency. They could give our ROBELUS (Rogers, Telus, Bell) cartel a run for their money.

    One thing I wished would have happened would have been Superstores, Sobeys, Walmarts or something like that buying Mobilicity and putting towers on top of all their stores across Canada. I know it takes more than a few towers to make a decent network but still, it would have been a start. Could tie in rewards points cards into this somehow and get discounts on service maybe…the more you spend in store on groceries, the more discounts you get on mobile. Tie in an app to do online shopping and you’re in business.

    1. Our rates are outrageous here in Canada. Luckily, I’ve been able to get by just fine with Telus Prepaid at $10 per month for all of my calling ($5 at $0.15 per minute) and messaging ($5 for 250 outgoing; unlimited incoming) needs. Also, my unused balance of the $5 for calling each month carries over to be added to the next month’s $5 balance.

      1. I use Ptel in the US. It rents access from Tmobile. It is prepaid, but has no sales tax or any tax when I recharge. I use about $8/month, with $0.05 per minute and $0.05 per txt. Ptel is making money even with those low rates. At prices that low Google could have a free plan that gets to look at all your txts, and perhaps gets to listen for keywords in your calls.

  5. No…. They pick the worst coverage providers! I will keep att with my lte service and sim cards. I don’t want tmovile’s 2g or verizon’s high prices. Sprint coverage is decent in my area but I hate cdma, I want gsm.

    1. Well you seem to be a bit confused about what these providers actually offer.
      First off T-Mobile only has 2g coverage out in the boonies, T-Mobiles 3g coverage and speeds are actually pretty good as the overwhelming portion of their 3g is what they use to call 4g before they added LTE. They have the fastest 3g connection in the US. They started their rollout of LTE from spectrum ATT had to give to them due to their failed acquisition. Tmobile LTE was recently rated as one of the fastest connections here in the states.

      While I agree that Sprint CDMA sucks, and the latency on their first attempt at 4g with WiMax was so horrible it might as well have still been 3g, this is not the case any more. The FCC cleared sprint for the ability to use true LTE on the old iDEN networks spectrum for data back in 2012 and CDMA for voice.

      As for sim card or GSM, it looks like it wont matter. First off 4g LTE is sim based on all carriers. Secondly if Google is taking the MNVO route then phone hopping will be part of that route.

      1. I can confirm your T-Mobile info. I live in a large metro area, and I use a phone brought in from another network (and missing the 1700/2100 bands, just 1900) on T-Mobile’s prepaid $30/month, unlimited data/text & 100 minutes plan. I get H+ across most of the city, dropping to 3G and Edge only when traversing the outskirts, or inside large buildings. I’m pretty happy with my current plan, but I’d certainly consider an unlimited-everything plan for $50/month that works on the same network.

          1. Yes, sorry, I realized the error in my reading comprehension as soon as I submitted my comment, but I couldn’t find a way to go back and edit it.

  6. Hmmh, mvno network with both sprint and tmobile. Seems a lot like the direction Ting is headed.

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