Google’s MVNO is Real, and Coming Soon
Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google’s Android boss Sundar Pichai confirmed rumors that the company has plans to launch its own wireless carrier as a mobile virtual network operator, or an MVNO. Codenamed Project Nova, the new initiative will apparently launch on a small scale within the next few months.
According to a post on CNET about the announcement, Google is in talks with wireless carriers, whose pre-existing cellular networks would provide service to the initiatives customers, just like how MVNOs Virgin Mobile and Cricket Wireless provide access to the major carriers’ networks at a lower price. Interestingly, the post adds that the company may, in fact, rely on two wireless carriers for its MVNO plans – Sprint and T-Mobile, to be precise.
Said Pichai about the plan:
“We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale. 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 at a smaller scale, like Nexus devices, so people will see what we’re doing.”
Does that mean that we’ll only see a limited rollout in select cities? Or will it only be available to owners of Nexus devices? Should I hold onto my Nexus 5 for a little longer, then? Okay, I will.
It’s an exciting move from Google, but relying on Sprint and T-Mobile – the two less successful carriers in terms of coverage as compared with that of AT&T and Verizon – may result in a less than stellar outcome when the service launches this year. Even still, if Google can offer low prices and good service, why shouldn’t it be a success? I’m currently considering switching to an MVNO that rides on AT&T’s network, which offers a lower price than my already low-priced T-Mobile plan. Why shouldn’t super-rich Google be able to do that too, but better?