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?