Rumor: Google wants to launch its own wireless service, using T-Mobile and Sprint networks

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Listen to a John Legere interview over the past few months and you’ll have undoubtedly hear his prediction that the wireless industry’s carriers are likely to be challenged by other, non-traditional carriers. Names like Facebook and Google have been thrown around in respect to other companies getting in on the wireless service game. His prediction could become reality sooner than we thought.

According to a new report by The Information, Google is planning to sell its own plans directly to consumers, as well as manage their calls and data over a cellular network. This information was given to the site by three unnamed sources with knowledge of the company’s plans.

If the rumor is to be believed, Google’s wireless service will be an MVNO using Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks to offer a nationwide service.

“Codenamed “Nova,” the project is led by longtime Google executive Nick Fox. A launch this year seems likely. Mr. Fox had previously looked at starting the service last fall, and some employees have already tested it.”

If true, this would make Google the second large company to announce plans to use T-Mobile’s network in recent times. Not long ago, Vodafone announced that it would be launching an MVNO aimed directly at the enterprise market, using T-Mo airwaves.

Without knowing the ins and outs of the price plans, and how competitive they will be, it’s impossible to know the full impact of this. On the one hand, it could be advantageous to customers having a phone which switches between Sprint and T-Mobile signal depending on which is strongest. A truly Un-carrier product. It could also offer really competitive price plans thanks to not needing to maintain its own infrastructure.

Who knows how this will play out. Are you intrigued by the thought of Google entering the wireless network space? Or should they stick to what they know?

Source: The Information

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  • KlausWillSeeYouNow

    I have mixed feelings about this. As much as I love Google, it inherently problematic to have one company dominating multiple spheres of influence. Also, this has the potential to overshadow T-Mobile, as most consumers will probably attribute a positive network experience to Google and not T-Mobile. Also, I hope we have the capacity to handle something like this, if true.

    I don’t know. I’d need to know more.

    • TechHog

      About the capacity thing: You might as well say that you hope that T-Mobile stops gaining customers if that worries you.

      As for how it would impact T-Mobile… Favorably? MVNOs have to give a share of what they earn from each customer to primary network operator.

      And the network thing works in reverse as well.

      • vrm

        maybe google can increase coverage with balloons !

        Cheaper solution to subscriber growth is adding cells. It also improves coverage for existing customers.

        • TechHog

          I think you’re a bit confused about what I mean by subscriber growth.

    • Joe

      The First part I have similar feeling as you do and the network capacity part I think google would offer financial support for them to buy more spectrum. I guess we shell have to c

    • nutmac

      I completely agree.

      Having said that, I think the best solution is Google investing in T-Mobile. Most people, even those happily using other carriers, admire John Legere. And it is in everyone’s best interest is someone like Google can infuse T-Mobile with serious cash to build infrastructure and accelerate 700 MHz build up and win majority of 600 MHz auction next year.

      • wicketr

        By bringing customers (via Google’s MNVO), they will still be supporting T-Mobile regardless. But it would be nice if it were a more direct partnership as opposed to Google just being a brand new large customer.

    • kalel33

      I trust Google over almost any other company. Their own motto is “do no evil” and they’ve tried to live up to it. I can’t say the same thing about other companies.

      • Ordeith

        They have failed to live up to it, you mean. Larry page himself said Google had outgrown the whole “don’t be evil” thing

        • kalel33

          Read the Washington Post article that followed the article you are talking about. They stated they might have to be a little evil to other companies to force their beliefs on them(Google Fiber was a start and this might be another step), not the consumer.

  • vinnyjr

    John Legere and Google is like Apple Pie and Ice Cream. Thank You John Legere, Google and T-Mobile. Love them all.

  • Justsomecommentor

    If Google finds a way to make their phones work on both networks, it would increase coverage. I’m all for that. Then again, might this be an attempt to “merge” both companies without really merging? Who knows. Those are just my opinions.

  • unknown

    f**k sprint their network not strong enough

    • Justin Smith

      It is in some areas just not all

      • besweeet

        most*

    • Hate to say it,but down in South Texas, Sprint’s network is much better than TMo’s.

  • AxelCloris

    This is a very interesting rumor. While I absolutely abhorred Sprint’s network when I had their service I’m not opposed to using it to fill in gaps in T-Mobile’s coverage, as long as T-Mobile’s service remains the primary.

  • UMA_Fan

    I always thought the perfect MVNO would be one that uses Verizon for voice/text only and tmobile for LTE/data and they could price roughly what tmobile does.

  • peharri

    Seems a little early for speculation, given that the two networks mentioned are fundamentally incompatible with the exception of their LTE networks. And I seriously doubt anyone wants to make a combo GSM/CDMA/UMTS/WiMAX/LTE phone. I know from experience Google doesn’t care much about battery lives, but I think even they’d balk at releasing phones that have to be charged every four hours…

    Plus it seems like a pity party. Pick the 3rd and 4th carrier for… what reason exactly? I can imagine going with, say, AT&T (urgh) and T-Mobile simply because they have strengths in different areas, but Sprint? Why? What does Sprint bring to the table?

    The more I think about it, the more it sounds like “The Information” is engaging in clickbait rumormongering. It just doesn’t seem credible to me.

    • GSM/CDMA/UMTS/LTE phones are legion. Wimax is dead.

    • Obvious

      The nexus 5 and nexus 6 work on both networks, today.

      • wicketr

        However, I think (depending on which sim is inserted), some of the radios will be turned off to save battery. For example, if you have an AT&T sim, then there’s no reason for the CDMA radio to be running.

        If you have all the radios running at all times (looking for the best signal), then that will consume a chunk of what you got.

        • Timothy Poplaski

          You don’t need them to run constantly. Just kick on briefly every several seconds to check signal strength and then switch over if needed.

    • Tron192

      First. There is no Wimax anymore. Second. Sprint has GSM/CDMA/LTE Phones. The GS4 GS5. My LG G3 is a GSM/CDMA phone. Its nice knowing I can goto AT&T with my Sprint G3 and use their network. Only thing is since I’m Spark. My LTE is different but I can get HPSP+ running.

      • Mike Palomba

        You will never take your Sprint G3 to ATT or any other carrier for that matter because as of now Sprint refuses to unlock any devices. They give you a code and say it unlocks it but in retrospect it doesn’t do anything. The hardware is compatible but due to sprint you can’t take it to any other carrier

  • UMA_Fan

    What’s a shame is that a person who would sign up for this would be counted as both a sprint and tmobile subscriber. It would be in tmobiles interest to lock sprint out of this. Also device compatibility is an issue for the sprint part but more and more phones are including nearly every band with them.

    Also with tmobiles unlimited LTE coming in at $50 or less a person on family plans how cheap can it get? What exactly will Google offer to differentiate themselves? How well is their customer support going to be?

    • JaswinderSinghJammu

      Only positive thing would be the ability to switch between carriers depending on the signal available at the time. Certain areas Sprint Sparks is sufficient. I have T Mobile and I am happy with them for now.

    • archerian

      “What’s a shame is that a person who would sign up for this would be counted as both a sprint and tmobile subscriber” – why exactly is that a “shame” ?

    • Timothy Poplaski

      I’d sign up in a heartbeat if they offered reasonably priced unlimited data for tablets. If they threw in hotspots (laptops, etc.), I’d happily merge 100% into the Googleborg.

      And yes, I know you can “adjust” things to get unlimited phone hotspotting. Given that I use my tablet/laptop for work, I’d rather be legit, with a number I can call if there’s a problem.

    • KingCobra

      It will probably be like Straight Talk where users can choose to sign up for TMO coverage or Sprint coverage, not both.

  • Chimphappyhour

    Getting phones that work on both networks isn’t so problematic as they seem to already exist.

    The fun part is that this resurfaces the wish of some to just get Google to buy T-Mobile. :D

  • S. Ali

    Google owns a lot of dark fiber, I wonder if they will make a deal to provide fiber in exchange for network access.

    • analyzethis

      Sprint has a lot more fiber than Google will ever lease (they don’t own it) and I wager T-Mobile has plenty of fiber though Level 3 and others.

  • Could this be a way to merge T-Mobile & Sprint, have Google buy them both maybe?…Hmmmmmm

  • Mike

    Interesting. Neithet Tmo or Sprint have a national network that doesn’t rely on roaming in less populated areas. Doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. They would still have to roam on AT&T and Verizon in many areas to ensure coverage.

    • archerian

      That might be a clue into Google’s target base – both from a customer and location perspective.

    • Timothy Poplaski

      Depending on the area, you can do just fine without roaming. MetroPCS (TMobile’s Prepaid) and Virgin Mobile/Boost Mobile (Sprint’s prepaid) along with their respective MVNO’s generally don’t roam (I can think of only 1 exception offhand) and have millions of subscribers.

      • Mike

        True, but like anything it depends on where you live, work and travel. All I meant is if this is true, they are partnering with networks that give them zero coverage in less populated parts of the country.

        MetroPCS roams extensively on AT&T for voice/text (not data) now that it is a T-Mobile GSM brand. In recent multi-state road trips, I know very well where Tmo changes over to AT&T or in some places has zero coverage.

        Boost/Virgin does not leave Sprint’s native CDMA network, unless something has changed recently.

    • KingCobra

      You overestimate how many people actually live or travel through those rural areas of roaming only coverage. It’s a very small percentage of the market.

      • kalel33

        I probably overestimate because I see tons of travelers coming to Colorado and visiting all the tourist towns that have zero bars of T-mobile or Sprint coverage.

        • KingCobra

          Yes travelers coming to Colorado is a small percentage compared to those coming to NY, LA, DC, Miami, etc. You get the idea. The straw man doesn’t work here. If it were such a large percentage then T-Mobile would in no way have been able to gain as much as they have over the past couple years. Unless you think millions of people are just flocking to TMO to get ‘no service’.

      • Mike

        I know it’s small but many people do, at least occasionally. You don’t see T Mobile or Sprint promoting their “vast” native networks, other than to note they’re “nationwide,” which is true but leaves out West Virginia, Montana and much of the Dakotas.

        I understand why it makes little sense to provide coverage in such places.

      • Indeed Mike does overestimate the pops. Bamberg, S.C. used to be roaming-only. Now, it’s 2G along HERITAGE HY (US 78) and to the north, but no service to the south.

  • YABD

    I will be the first one to jump to Google.

    • 9to5Slavery

      And get screwed

  • David Tyler

    Great times are ahead. Hopefully Verizon and AT&T are shaking in their boots.

    • Ordeith

      Hopefully they are shaking enough to start to move Android to the two but niche status it deserves. How that crap OS became dominant I’ll never understand.

  • I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

    • 9to5Slavery

      To be scroogled

      • LAME

        are u seriously using lame microsoft advertising speak LOL

        • monkeybutts

          I love the scroogled campaign the ads are so cheesy

        • 9to5Slavery

          Yes haha

      • One of the main reasons I left the Androids behind. The batteries on my Android devices were being Scroogled.

  • Timothy Poplaski

    I wonder if Google could get better pricing by 1) doing pure data, no voice (Google Voice over LTE would be your only option) and 2) real time “bidding” on data, so that they could route calls to Sprint or T-Mo based on whichever is cheapest in that area at that moment. Hopefully taking into account coverage and network capability too.

    More interestingly, if they could route data over both networks at the same time, they’d essentially get double the speed of any single carrier. So some bragging rights there. It might not even hit the battery all that hard if network 2 wasn’t active unless needed. Google might be the first carrier to offer 100Mb+ cellular data :)

    • archerian

      route voice calls via T-mobile and Sprint data networks? Highly doubtful, the product would bomb as although data is king, voice is essential. And regardless of data or not, termination rates are fixed and cannot be waived.

      • wicketr

        I really doubt that Google is going into it for the main purpose of voice communication. I think they are trying to offer data only packages for people to use ipads/tablets some way. Or maybe for vehicles, etc. Or maybe even a service to add onto their GoogleFiber TV, so that people that have the service, can stream content elsewhere on their device as a package deal.

        Google isn’t the type of company that is going to try the same old MVNO as a multitude of others. That market is a bit flooded. They’re going to try something a bit different, but I’m not exactly sure what.

        • BillSmitty

          You may be on to something there with th vehicle comment. Isnt Google (and Apple) developing in car tech to link to your cellular phone? This could help give their vehicle hardware a link to cell. Confused a little though because Google has plenty of $$$, why don’t they just buy TMO from DT and get everything? If they could get existing towers to work with SpaceX/satellite, they could just maintain the existing infrastructure. Maybe that’s too costly in the long run however. Interesting news…

        • archerian

          better to be an MVNO and get all network benefits without actual investment. No Capex but only Opex and if it becomes a hit they could move bigger.

        • archerian

          Of course Google is in it for the data part. My point in response to the OP is that offering ONLY data would not be successful as people will not adopt a phone service that relies only on data to make/receive calls through VoIP. The data network reach of T-mo or Sprint is not enough to assure that all your calls would go/get connected.

      • Austin

        In 2015, data is king. You can do voip, which eliminates the need for voice, so you still can use data on both networks.

        • archerian

          Thanks, I know that. My point is with only data as the OP suggested, data network coverage is not enough for T-mo or Sprint that people will take a phone that does ONLY VoIP as their daily driver.

        • KingCobra

          No carrier has a strong enough data network to do straight VoiP. Not even Verizon, as evidenced by all the dropped calls reported on their VoLTE phones.

        • Austin

          T-Mobile’s VoLTE has done just fine.

      • Timothy Poplaski

        People use Google Hangouts for VOIP calls over LTE all the time. There’s a popular $35/mo 5GB 100min T-Mobile plan that a lot of people are happy with because it’s super cheap and they can just do their calls as VOIP unless 4G isn’t available so the 100 min limit isn’t a big deal.

        As long as Google makes allowances for e911, no reason at all they couldn’t handle all calls as data, since they’re already doing it without being the MVNO.

        As for Termination Rates, I’ll again mention Google Voice/Hangouts. Free calls to anywhere in the US or Canada. Google even officially supports the Obi, letting you use Google Voice for free home phone service, or with a small fee to add e911 service.

        • archerian

          Its all about coverage and network – its not good enough yet to completely have voice over IP. Unless the product offers voice over traditional networks, it will not get mainstream adoption. Not that VoIP is not evolved but that on T-mobile and Sprint the data coverage isn’t enough to offer data all the time everywhere as wide as a traditional voice network to enable a seamless wireless experience.

        • Timothy Poplaski

          If it was all about coverage and network, T-Mobile would be bankrupt already. As would pretty much every MVNO and prepaid offering, because they all have very limited networks compared to Verizon/AT&T.

          Also keep in mind, that T-Mobile will have 100% LTE by year end. Sprints got pretty wide LTE coverage as well.

          And of course they don’t have to have 100% VOIP, they can gain significant savings just by having it the 95% or so of the time there’s suitable LTE available, and drop down to regular calls when there’s not.

          For a real world example of 100% voip (done poorly, solely on Sprints network) google “Republic Wireless”. I’d expect Google could do it a lot better.

        • archerian

          You don’t see my point – I’m not saying T-mobile’s network is bad. I’m saying their network isn’t enough to offer VoIP ONLY instead of having traditional 2G voice networks. “Google Voice over LTE would be your only option” – that will not work if they want to be a traditional MVNO to offer full wireless service.

          If T-mobile and their MVNOs offered Voice only via IP, or if “Google Voice over LTE would be your only option” then yes, they would all be bankrupt by now as no one would use them for cellular service except mobile broadband.

          Republic Wireless survives as they offer cellular fallback, its not “Google Voice over LTE would be your only option” or something similar for them.

        • Timothy Poplaski

          You should scroll up and read slowly. “Only” was something you assumed, I even said, “And of course they don’t have to have 100% VOIP” and you somehow missed that.

          As for the bankrupt, it was a comment about limited coverage areas.

          You are right though, I don’t see your point, since you seem to agree that with voice fallback, Google could route the majority of their calls as VOIP and reap similar cost savings to Republic Wireless.

          And obviously Google doesn’t want to be a traditional MVNO, what would be the point? They want to do something Google-special that benefits their core advertising business. Ya know, like they did with Android. Whatever their service turns out to be, it won’t be just another way to make a phone call.

        • archerian

          “doing pure data, no voice (Google Voice over LTE would be your only option)” – that was your OP. And later you said “And of course they don’t have to have 100% VOIP” .. which seems rather contradictory.

          My first reply was in reference to your OP. Pure Data, no Voice = Only VoIP/VoLTE. My next reply was for your next comment – “they don’t have to be 100% VoIP” – I was saying that they cannot be 100% VoIP.

          You said Pure Data with VoIP only first and then voice fallback later – I was saying pure data alone as you mentioned in your OP wouldn’t work.

        • Timothy Poplaski

          Congrats, by focusing with laserlike intent an off the cuff comment that started with “I wonder”, you’ve managed to start and then win an “argument”. I didn’t even realize I had excluded regular voice as a backup to VOIP calls. It’s just so obvious that they could drop back to voice if needed, even though T-Mobile expects to have 100% LTE coverage by years end. You got me! Bravo! Bravo!

          So, I will admit that I was wrong in speculating that Google might get lower rates by going 100% VOIP. I will state that using 99% pure data aka VOIP with 1% regular voice backup for the person that might occasionally be in an area T-Mobiles soon to be 100% LTE coverage drops down below 4G speeds, Google might be able to get much lower prices by doing the Republic Wireless/FreedomPop VOIP calling thing better. yada yada yada.

          You Win! Have a great 2015 !

        • Fabian Cortez

          It’s not easy to admit when you’re wrong.

          I commend anyone who can.

    • Austin

      Why is 100 mbps important? You don’t need more than 5 mbps on a PHONE, not a desktop.

      • Timothy Poplaski

        1) Bragging rights. Useful or not, higher numbers sell things.
        2) The faster the connection the more people that can share a tower, because each person spends less time connected to it. That allows for lower prices, and more reliable service.
        3) Video – Netflix streams at 25Mb+ on max quality, and there are phones out there able to display it.
        4) Internet connected software is snappier. For example, I have to upload pictures of work I’ve done pretty much everyday, a faster connection can let me leave a site 15-30 minutes faster.
        5) Not to state the obvious, but people have tablets, hotspots, laptops, etc… Some people even use cellular data for their DESKTOP, because they can’t get better than DSL speeds otherwise (or even get DSL). My folks did that until recently because…they couldn’t even get DSL.

        Short version – For most people nowadays, a “phone” is used a little for talking, and a whole lot for other things.

        • Austin

          1)Most people don’t even know what mbps means.
          2) Agreed, the only current use for more bandwidth.
          3) Why do you need 2K video on a PHONE, even 1080p on a phone is overkill and a waste of network bandwidth.
          4) It takes 30 minutes to upload some pictures?
          5) Since we’re on a T-Mobile blog, I’m assuming that you use T-Mobile. Assuming that you use more than 5GB a month on your home internet, you are breaking T-Mobile’s tethering policy.

        • Timothy Poplaski

          1) True. Same people buying 4K TV’s in droves. Numbers sell, rightly or wrongly.
          3) You can argue whether a phablet screen needs 1080p, but like 4K it’s a selling point, wasteful/useful or not. Unlimited Pandora/Spotify/Etc. streaming is wasteful (vs local storage), but T-Mobile pushes it because it sells. Google will need to sell it’s plans too.
          4) When you have a lot of them, yes. Or video. Or whatever. People do need to upload stuff. In my case it’s work related.
          5) I never said anything about unauthorized tethering or uses that violate the TOS or are illegal. I suggested that there are a lot more devices with uses for mobile data than just cell phones.

          My folks went a few years with cellular data for home use. With an actual hardware hotspot, and paying for the GB’s they used. (They kept the total under 10GB/month, which kept the bill tolerable.) It beat the heck out of the WIldBlue satellite service they had before then. Once DSL became available they switched, but my mom misses the much faster LTE service. If it wasn’t for Netflix, they’d probably switch back. DSL sucks.

      • Jay Holm

        Ohhhhh aI hate ut when people say “you don’t need” when it comes totechnology, some people completely lack foward thinking, or an innovative mindset.

        Guess what, phones will likely be pulling in speeds well above 500mbps by 2020, possibly be used as a home wireless router.

        • Austin

          Please put the first four words of that sentence in understandable English. What is your use for 100 mbps on a mobile device? Getting that isn’t innovation, it’s a waste of bandwidth. How is 2020 related to what is happening in 2015?

        • 9to5Slavery

          Lame

      • 9to5Slavery

        Actually I am satisfied with at least 20Mbps with a ping of 40 or lower.

        • Austin

          TWENTY? You realize that LTE is only meant to deliver 5 mbps at high demand times?

        • 9to5Slavery

          Then that ping better be 15ms or less baby!

  • PLee45

    why Sprint and T-Mobil wireless networks? They have limited coverage and reception.

    • archerian

      cost, what else? the big 2 have no incentive to take on the champion of the other side of net neutrality as a partner.

    • wicketr

      Hopefully because they hate the big two as much as the rest of us. If Google can provide enough support to the little two (through indirect customers), then it could give T-Mobile/Sprint some financial support going into the 600Mhz spectrum auction.

    • Adam

      One theory I heard is that it will be cheaper to cover rural areas with satellite than build towers. Google and Fidelity forked out $1B to SpaceX. We may soon see a phone that provides internet world wide.

      • Jay Holm

        That network that SpaceX is working on won’t be operational for 5yrs, Elon Musk said so himself.

      • wicketr

        No way that the antennas on the phone’s will be strong enough to pick up satellite communication for consumer grade devices. Current satellite phones eat through battery, and the antenna is usually about 5 inches long sticking out from the phone.

    • Roger Sales

      If the service was using both networks in tandem, there aren’t many areas where at least one of them isn’t present. T-Mobile’s weakspots are Sprints strength and vice versa

      • kalel33

        They cover almost the exact same footprint with native coverage. This doesn’t count their roaming partners, which doesn’t factor into an MVNO.

        • TylerCameron

          Sprint does have a more expansive 3G network. But it’s about as slow as EDGE. I the other hand, T-Mobile EDGE is unusable.

        • 9to5Slavery

          Tmobile edge is not unusable. It’s more responsive and it actually beats out AT&T when they clock higher speeds on speed test.

        • As long as your mobile device has at least three bars, you can use T-Mobile’s 2G, or EDGE.

      • Blind

        You sure about that boss? Look at the maps and tell me where either network would compliment the other.
        TMobile and Sprint coverage areas are almost duplicates.
        Take your blinders off man

        • Lee

          No where I live in Illinois Sprint has much more of a superior coverage area. T-Mobile doesnt come close.

        • 9to5Slavery

          Sprint dominates in Illinois

        • Lee

          Yes Spark is spreading fast through Illinois. Central Illinois is pretty much covered by it even though its not launch or optimized yet. Sprint is making its way into the light. I have get coverage where ever I go some places may be limited but my phone still manages to connect to the Sprint Network. I have roaming off on my phone, so my phone has no option but to connect to Sprint tower or none at all.

        • 9to5Slavery

          Central Illinois some areas has LTE on map but doesn’t activate. Tmobile has “4G” but list as 3G on map. Pretty funny. I can’t wait to map out with sensorly for central Illinois for tmus

        • You’re wrong. Sprint has 3G coverage in both Blackville and Windsor, S.C. T-Mobile, as of this moment, still has no signal in Windsor proper and only a few pockets of 2G coverage in Blackville and the rural portions of Windsor along a one-mile radius of US 78 (including Water Oak Drive in this). Blackville is ten miles east of me and Windsor is ten miles west of me.

    • Nick

      What if Google allows switching between Tmobile and Sprint network simultaneously then it is going to be a successful plan.

  • Stone Cold

    Would be interesting if they could move it over Google fiber.

  • franz

    Project code named “Nova”? Bad idea ! Did anybody ever tell Google how the Chevy Nova really failed in Spanish speaking households ? Nova in Spanish means “no go” oh brother.

    • thehndx

      That is the code name, not the real name they will use on release.

    • Ford_Thundercougarfalconbird

      That’s a myth.

    • Jay Holm

      It’s just an internal code-name is all.

    • gmo8492

      Funny how most of my Spanish speaking friends have owned a Nova.

    • Doug

      “Nova” is Latin for “new”

  • Irfan

    it could be better if come alone ,establish its own network independent, other hand its sucks

  • FILA

    This could be the boost T-Mobile needs. This would gain millions of customers = more money for T!!!

    • Dakota

      Or congestion on the network

      • Goat

        I don’t think that’d be a problem.

      • KingCobra

        T-Mobile has plenty of mid band spectrum to deal with potential congestion in most of their markets.

        • Jay Holm

          Which frequency are you referring to as “mid-band”?

        • My guess would be AWS or maybe PCS. Once T-Mobile gets their 5GHz LTE going, they could be considered “mid-band.”

        • Jay Holm

          And when exactly is the 5ghz going to be deployed? I highly doubt this years flagship will have 5ghz LTE capability, S6, G4, or M9.

        • KingCobra

          AWS and PCS. I guess that’s the one side benefit of having so many less customers than Verizon and AT&T in that they don’t have to worry much about congestion.

    • Jay Holm

      I can’t wait for my next smartphone (S6?) to have carrier aggregation, and see speeds of who knows how high, 140-160mbps?

  • TK – Indy

    Well, what this would be is a defacto merger of Sprint and T-mobile resources that the DOJ/FTC/FCC could do nothing about. With the branding superpower of a Google on the point of attack, you could see world domination. Either somebody watched one too many Pinky and the Brain episodes, or this is utterly brilliant.

  • Goat

    T-Mobile boasts the perfect network for this to happen on. If T-Mobile is chosen, it’s a good choice on Google’s part!

  • gorilla

    Google should buy out Tmobile

    • Jose’

      Tmobile should buy out Google

  • michael lars

    Wonder what the big announcement is tomorrow for Tmobile, supposedly a surprise Uncarrier announcement?

    • Jay Holm

      T-Mobile has an announcement tomorrow?

      • taron19119

        That’s what I wanna know

    • taron19119

      What announcement

    • Michael lars

      and that announcement just happened on Legere’s videoblog

  • #SprintSucksALLem

    Here we go again with a new round of rumors. Un Fnnnn believable! What’s next? US cellular buys T-Mobile? F this!

  • Goo-Mobile?

    Google full of it. This sounds more like politics then business.

  • Eric Schneck

    If that gets me 4G service at my house or Lollipop on my S5 then sign me up, because I’ve heard nothing but hot air from T-Mo about both of these…

    • 9to5Slavery

      Sucks for you sucker.

  • Hot off the Press

    I think DT found a buyer, Google is going to keep it mnvo “beta” until they pry at least 25% of Sprint and/or TMo customer subs. All goes well Google buys TMobile.

    My uncles brothers friends girlfriend told me she heard it from her grandmother nieces son teammate.

    Augustine word at the change fountain is that if your name starts with an “A” once Google buys TMobile, Google is going introduce the 1000 any plan. The 1000 Any plan will be $30 and will include $1000 visa credit to use anywhere and Google plans to pay whatever taxes you incur while making your purchases.

    • I want some of what you’ve been smoking.

      • Brian P.

        Carefu, that stuff will make you stupid!

        • Hot off the Press

          Carefu, yeah don’t give this guy any he’s already illiterate

        • eAbyss

          “Carefu”

          Sounds like you’ve tried some already. :-)

    • TCrash

      Wouldn’t your uncles brother’s friend just be your uncle’s friend?

      • LOL

        Once person caught it LOL

      • Stefan Naumowicz

        Could be the brother of an uncle by marriage

  • Hamster

    This one seems *very* far-fetched.

  • randian

    Will Google’s MVNO be Android only?

    • KingCobra

      Not if they actually want to make money

      • no

        >implying people only use Crapple products

        • 9to5Slavery

          He knows

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          Or, he’s implying that excluding the manufacturer of the phone with roughly 50% market share is a bad business move. Common sense should tell you that.

        • eAbyss

          Who has 50% market share, Apple? Pfft. Android hit 84.4% market share last year and it’s still rising. All they really need to support is Android.

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          You’re looking at global numbers. In the US, where this proposed Google owned MVNO will be, iPhone has well over 40% of the smartphone market.

    • I hope not. In fact, I also hope that they won’t exclude Microsoft’s Windows phones.

    • samagon

      Not if they don’t want an anti-trust lawsuit at some point.

  • Peter Truong From Riverside CA

    If this is true, bye bye t-mobile :( you have been great to me. Go GoogleMobile! :-)

    • 9to5Slavery

      GoogleAdsmobile

    • eAbyss

      Google’s not buying T-Mobile or Sprint, they’re just going to pay for access to their networks. You’ll still probably be using T-Mobile most of the time with Google due to their stronger network.

  • Nerd_Baller

    I think Google got upset at the failure to disrupt the duopoly between AT&T and Verizon and they’re doing this as a ‘screw you’.

    I think this is a beautiful way of merging sprint and tmobile unofficially

    • Paul

      “…merging sprint and tmobile unofficially ”
      That thought crossed my mind as well.

    • Brian Perez

      I totally agree except.on the whole merger sprint and tmus i dislike sprint bad quality service they play on value tmus plays on both andthe differences shows

      • Nerd_Baller

        Nobody knows how this will play out fully. I suspect Google is testing the waters but at the same time, their financial portfolio is advertisements. More people, faster speeds means more ads seen.

  • Paul

    This could help funnel cash into the development of the Magenta network, and to have Google helping would be FAR and away a great deal.

  • Those of us who worked for T-Mo Corp when the G1 first came out know that Google was looking into buying controlling interest back then, I wasn’t privy to what made the interest die off, but it was there. If the more logical of the buyouts (Att) failed,Sprint wasn’t going to work either. Ask any network tech worth their salt that still works for Sprint(most jumped ship) they are still dealing with some of the old Nextel crap sometimes. The potential for Sprint to be something has been there for a while. But they keep jumping on the wrong technology IE Wimax,hanging on to iDen, holding on to old CDMA for Boost Mobile. They’ve constantly and consistently shown a lack of real vision and unwillingness to change. IMHO the only thing to save Sprint is prob Google.They have enough pull in politics on both sides of the isle to get something this large past the FCC. My initial thought would be that Sprint would be an easier target,but I’m not sure Son is willing to let go of his US market foothold yet. Either way, Google has already made the jump to a TeleCom with Google Fiber, surely a jump to wireless carrier isn’t an a stretch.

  • Mike

    While this could be a good thing, I worry that Google would be the bigger brother than it already is.

  • Shaun McNulty

    I see Google totally ripping off the republic wireless model.

  • skywalkr2

    And here I thought MVNOs were dying out….

    • Mike

      Far from it. There are a ton, especially on Sprint and T Mobile. Whether they make money is another issue.

    • MNVO Born Every Month

      Shows how much your NDA helps ya!

  • nycplayboy78

    Hmmph why don’t Google bring out MOAR GOOGLE FIBER!!! OMG…One thing at a time El Goog :p

  • Ordeith

    Hopefully the other carriers see this large vertical monopoly Google wants to be and begin to protect themselves by moving away from Android to other, better, platforms before it is too late.

    • AA-Ron

      What other better platforms are you referring to?

      • yeah right

        I would like to know myself?

      • Ordeith

        Windows Phone and iOS for the stability and walled garden folks.
        FirefoxOS, Jolla Sailfish, and Tizen for the people that want open (much more open than Google is currently).

        Let’s break this Android stranglehold.

        • Mr Paul

          Tizen looks brilliant and with full Android-app support, they’d nail it. I really hope Samsung gets serious about it. They can also really screw Google over, because they sell among the most non-Apple phones on the planet.

          FirefoxOS looks promising, but Mozilla’s products are never to my taste. I do also wish Android would get a kick in the balls. The fragmentation and Google’s controlling nature is getting completely insane.

          It took them all the way to Lollipop to get a stable and fluid OS with a UI that’s finally palatable. They don’t care about anything but money, and the fact that they’re making people wait months for simple updates and bug fixes is further proof they don’t stand behind anything but their interests.

        • eAbyss

          Windows Phone: no app support, slow, worst UI out of the big three

          IOS: unstable, uninnovative, walled garden, locked down, childish looking UI, way overpriced, sales based on sheep mentality

          FireFoxOS, Jolla Sailfish, Tizen: No app support, no manufacturer support, unstable, primitive, years away from catching up to the big three

          You call that better?

        • Ordeith

          The read-between-the-lines of your comment is that you think Android is perfect, or even good. And it is far from it.

          Android: Exploitive of open source, Closed and locked in where it matters, slower than everything else on like hardware, no good upgrade path, no long term support from Google, extremely cavalier about privacy, created and controlled by a company whose primary motivation is collecting personal data and selling ads.

          So yes, I ‘d call nearly everything non-Google that’s viable “better”

        • eAbyss

          OK, OK, I get it. You’re an iTroll.

        • Ordeith

          Sure, whatever helps you ignorantly cling to your flawed ideologies, buddy.

        • eAbyss

          It’s the best explanation for your ignorance. If there’s a better one like poor education or belief in a religion then tell me but I don’t believe they are the main culprit(s).

        • Ordeith

          Oh, but I am not the ignorant one (or the arrogant one, it would seem) :)

    • eAbyss

      It would be suicide to leave Android and anyone with a brain knows that. I’m guessing you’re just an iTroll though.

      • Ordeith

        It would be suicide to cede control to Google and everyone with a brain should be aware of that. At least if they can get Google out of the picture they’ll have a fighting chance.

        • eAbyss

          Right because one less company competing is a good thing… You know how Android won it’s 84.4% market share? Releasing the better product. Isn’t that how capitalism is supposed to work? You’re just butt hurt because Apple no longer holds a complete monopoly on smart phones and no amount of brainwashing is going to put them on top again, not unless they make some serious changes.

        • Ordeith

          Google STILL doesn’t have the better product. They owe almost all of their success to Samsung’s advertising. Or haven’t you seen the breakdown of Android OEMs?

        • Mr Paul

          Seriously. Even if one disregard’s Google’s monopolistic nature for just a second (which, along with their greed and apathy towards consumers actually explains the following mess), look at Lollipop. They released a beta OS with memory leaks, bugs, battery issues (ironic), and they even decided last minute to remove silent mode for whatever reason. Google can’t do anything right, and they still haven’t officially fixed all these issues. 5.1 and then 5.1.1 that fixes 5.1’s issues can’t come any sooner. Google wants to monopolize more and more and more, but they can’t even release an OS right. They also have tons of official apps that desperately need bug fixes and updates.

          And neither can OEMs like Motorola. My 1st Gen X luckily does work well, but will be my LAST Motorola phone. Motorola still haven’t released Lollipop to the 1st Gen X, but are prioritizing getting it to all their budget phones. Now they just bricked a bunch of 2nd gen Xes on WIND Mobile in Canada. So now, not only do I have to wait another month or two for Lollipop for that phone, but I also have to hope it doesn’t brick my goddamn phone, because apparently, they can’t even do in 3 months what Cyanogen mod did almost professionally in two weeks.

          My next phone will likely be a Samsung, and I hope Samsung gets Tizens phones out so I can ditch Android. I would’ve used iOS, but Apple charges a fortune for even their budget phones; no thanks. And Windows Phone doesn’t have half of the apps I need. Also, no thanks.

      • WWT

        Android great if you want free stuff in return for loss of all privacy. The Govt and Big Business loves you!

  • Michael Lynady

    Looks like Sprint is in – no tmo announcement today

  • If Google wants to use T-Mob’s network, they better get ready to bury the hatchet with Microsoft and prepare to sell phones manufactured by their rivals at both Apple and Microsoft.

    • 253598

      Why would they have to sell phones from apple and ms?

      • Any carrier, which is NOT the same as a manufacturer, would sell phones from all OSes.

    • William Burr Winans

      I personally think Google is going to buy T-Mobile before it’s over!

      • Jack

        You’re a dope. It’s a money loser and offers no benefit to Google. At least Motorola had patents.

  • Franc012

    Competition from Google might put more pressure on Verizon and AT&T to lower their prices and come out with better data plans. My only concern as a potential Google Mobile customer would be the amount of annoying advertisement I’d need to deal with for the better price.

    • yeah right

      you probably won’t have to deal with more annoying advertisement… Google, just really wants to know who you are, so when you do get served an advertisement. Its a good one. Making that ad 10% better/more tailored is where the money is at.

      • eAbyss

        Google would probably go the cheap or unlimited data route to encourage mobile web use so they can serve you more adds (because you’re surfing, not more than you’d normally receive) and collect more information.

  • GinaDee

    Not sure why everyone thinks that by moving from one monopolistic company to another like Google is somehow noble? It’s like everyone has digital amnesia. Google is a pro (for profit) company who prides themselves in taking our personal information and selling it to others. Do they offer great products? Yep and many of them are free but that’s besides the point.

    Google would also have to compete with T-Mobile and Sprint too; regardless of whether they rent air space with them or not; and unless T-Mobile’s objective was only to sell their core business to them I can’t see TMUS allowing them the upper hand.

    Google’s core weakness is their lack of distribution, bad customer service and poor turn around times for shipping. This would seriously have to be addressed otherwise they will risk the ire and burn from all the fanboys who rushed to sign up with them.

    Like many of you I would like to see continued pressure on Verizon and AT&T because they can afford the pressure. Companies like T-Mobile US can’t afford a huge price war even if they count Google customers as their wholesale brethren. I sense this would be more about selling out to Google vs a true MVNO. Google likely is trying to test the waters so to speak.

    • Chris

      Everyone’s saying they are selling the information. No they don’t and legally they can’t. It’s a huge hassle for them as a company to sell personal information. What they sell and other companies sell is the usage / trend / interest statistics. Not your personal information.

      There is a huge difference when they sell statistics to a clothing company saying, 20-25 age range in New York is interested in this specific type of clothes because the company product data trend analyzation shows it’s true for this demographic. And then saying GinaDee is interested in this type of clothing is completely different. HUGE difference.

    • eAbyss

      You’re proof that it’s easy to talk s*** about a company that you know nothing about. Just about everything you said wasn’t true and I bet you know it. Haters always gunna hate I guess.

      Also T-Mobile and Sprint wouldn’t be competing with Google on this because T-Mobile and Sprint would be selling Google access to their networks. If Google gets a customer then T-Mobile and Sprint make money.

  • Mr Paul

    Why not Verizon? They share Google’s taste for greed and apathy towards their userbase. The T-Mobile and Sprint switchability would be demonically clever. If the phones they supported had all of T-Mobiles bands, band 12, and Sprint’s Spark bands, this would be an easy way for Google to monopolize something else. Just great…

    On the other hand, I’m waiting for an MVNO that has AT&T and Sprint switchability, mainly for those times where you can get Spark, or if you’re closer to a 1900MHz Sprint LTE tower. But, like that will ever happen. Now that’s what I’d call awesome.

  • eAbyss

    Why would they choose two networks that utilize incompatible wireless technologies? You’d think if this was for real they’d go all GSM or all CDMA, not a mix of the two.

    • izick

      LTE is very interoperable. CDMA and GSM are on the way out, and Google using only LTE networks to make it happen is very viable.

  • Blkbear

    I can see Google offering unbranded phones with stock Android, which TMO, Sprint and others would not be willing to do, because they want their bloatware on the phones and to lock customers into sudo contracts (paying installments on your phone for 24 months, is the same as a two year plan contract. Still has ETF, and still have to get a minimum service plan.

    Or I can see Google offtering both Google Edition and or unlocked phones, as well as the carrier locked versions, allowing the end user the choice of which one they want. Of course Google options may all be cash on the barrelhead, with no option to pay installments, pretty much like they do now, along with the rest of the world does.

    • C T

      Great, easier for Google to monitor your calls? Time to look for a new
      provider. Bye Bye Tmo. I toss your phone in the bottom drawer next to
      my Nest.

  • T C

    Easier for Google to monitor your calls? Time to look for a new provider. Bye Bye Tmo. I toss your phone in the bottom drawer next to my Nest.

  • Chad Gainor

    Nova ARA module.

  • Matt

    Google and Sprint form a deal.

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