Google executives have been discussing plans for the company to offer its own wireless carrier service within the United States. As the Verge reports (April 4), sources reveal that Google had prior talks with existing U.S. wireless carriers about a possible partnership.
Google’s interests are moving in the direction of purchasing carrier network access to resell to customers, according to The Information. Unnamed sources suggest that Google is trying to situate a deal with a major U.S. carrier to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). As an MVNO, Google would buy network access from the carrier for a wholesale price and then offer the mobile service to consumers.
Sources also said that Google is looking to provide wireless carrier service in areas where its Google Fiber high speed internet already exists. Reportedly, inside talks happening over at Google headquarters include running the idea by Verizon earlier this year. In 2013, Google allegedly talked to Sprint before the wireless carrier was acquired by Softbank.
While Google Fiber networks are set up in Kansas City, Mo. and Provo, Utah, Google hopes to broaden its presence. Currently on the horizon is an expansion to Austin, Texas with placement in Atlanta, Portland, Ore., San Jose, Calif. and other cities to follow in the future.
If everything goes according to plans, Google’s wireless service could mean savings for potential customers. It’s likely that a Google Wireless/Google Fiber package deal would offer wireless smartphone, TV and internet for a competitive price. For example, Verizon offers its customers savings for bundling their Verizon Wireless service with Verizon FiOS for internet, TV and home phone.
The Information speculates that Google may want to rely on a wireless carrier solely when its Fiber network Wi-Fi access points are not available or up to par. Similarly, to minimize network congestion, AT&T implements the method of transferring network users to Wi-Fi hotspots.
If Google is seeking to team up with a wireless carrier on this project, Verizon with its nationwide coverage may be the best option.