Google MVNO won’t be a competitor to the big 4 carriers


Yesterday, here at MWC in Barcelona, Sundar Pichai confirmed that Google would be launching a wireless phone service at some point in the coming months. It was rumored some time ago that the search engine giant would be entering the wireless space with an MVNO. The company has been speaking with Sprint and T-Mobile, according to a that speculation.

During his speech here yesterday, Pichai compared the wireless network to its Nexus-branded smartphones, in that it isn’t the company’s intention to launch a network “at scale” and directly compete with the traditional carriers. Rather, to “experiment”.

The focus of Google’s network could be on connecting devices other than phones, as watches, cars and other devices increasingly will include mobile connectivity features, Pichai said.”

In many ways this could be good news for T-Mobile, a carrier which has made a name for itself being the disruptive carrier in the U.S. The last thing they’d want is to have a company the size of Google directly competing with them. Secondly, partnering with Google and allowing the company to use its network will surely bring in some extra revenue, helping T-Mobile grow in the process.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

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  • Aurizen

    Would be great if they merged with T-Mobile and got an ally for deep pockets to compete with verizon and AT&T

    • peharri

      It’s all fun and games until the others jump in and Apple buys Verizon, Microsoft and buys AT&T (and Palm buys Sprint ;-) )

      • Aurizen

        LMAO!!! ahhh i didn’t think of that… But I don’t that would get approved. I think Apple would buy AT&T

        • dtam

          I don’t know…apple and verizon both like to lock down their devices

      • monkeybutts

        Facebook would buy Sprint and launch a second Facebook phone.

    • Logan C.

      Yeah, no thanks. We just got the iPhone and we’re barely holding onto WP as it is, I don’t want tmo back to being an Android only carrier.

  • Ordeith

    Google wants to appear non-threatening at first. Their vertical integration aspirations are almost certainly going to be a threat at some point. If the carriers are smart they would start treating Google as the threat they will become and squash it before it’s too late.

    They can start by facilitating a move away from Android phones. Don’t sell the enemy’s goods, it just gives them more power.

    • Logan C.

      Tell that to Apple, Samsung makes their processors.

    • kbiel

      This is a failure of the Open Handset Alliance. They’re nominally in charge of Android, but let Google run the show. They could assert their proprietorship again and make it difficult for Google to overlay the Android API and dominate through the Play store. On the other hand, they would also need to address fracture by making it more difficult for the handset manufacturers to destroy the interface with their bolted on, almost non-removable cruft.

      • Ordeith

        the OHA is just a puppet of Google. It was Google that single handedly threatened permanent eviction from the OHA for any OEM that dared make a dual boot phone. And Google, through the OHA, that forced OEMs to abandon hardware that did not meet with Google’s approval. It should be called the Google Handset Alliance, there isn’t much openness there anymore.

    • Aaron Davis

      What would they sell instead? Blackberry? Tizen? China OS?
      I’m trying to picture what a cell phone store would look like without all the Android phones, and all I see is a giant empty room with a single lonely iPhone display in the corner.

      • Ordeith

        Your lack of awareness of Google alternatives is astounding. And even if the world confirmed to your myopic experience, can’t you see how that could itself be a problem?

        • Aaron Davis

          Oh, I forgot about the lonely Windows Phone display in the other corner.

  • Jrunner

    Yeah, no worry, they won’t be a threat. At least that’s what it sounded like Steve Jobs originally thought until they launched Android to compete directly with iOS… like it or not, well, we all know how that turned out. Google thinks big. But still probably better to be involved with them than have them partner with AT&T or Verizon…

  • IamAman

    Google is gonna get in and do a sweet deal with sprint and tmobile so that google can piggyback off of both networks ……then theyre gonna turn around and buy tmobile and keep that nationwide roaming deal somehow and sprint will eventually get screwed over and go out of business =D

    • dtam

      if only…

      and I just mean the google purchasing tmobile, not the sprint going out of business (more competitors the better)

  • TK – Indy

    They will just be laying a framework this year and trying to keep a low profile with it, if possible. Then they will have everything they need for Project Ara to be completed and begin taking over the world. The phone, the OS, the service, the content, the tools – all from Google.

    • Bowen9284

      Don’t forget Tango for mapping every crevice of the world!!!

  • gmo8492

    Another one of Google’s “experiments”, since when when hasn’t a product or service started out as an experiment.

  • Mark McCoskey

    Will be interesting to see what devices Google will bring that operates on both networks and WiFi. I’ll probably jump ship, but will wait for the details.

  • When I read the inserts from the MWC interview, he said he was talking to AT&T & Verizon, so I’m getting a bit confused.

  • Since I’m not a shareholder of T-Mobile’s, I couldn’t care less what it thinks is best for its sole interests, but only whether it’s best for me as a consumer. In this sense, in disappointed that Google so far has not shown to be a real player, be it as an ISP, be it as an MNVO,I suspect. In my city, Google Fiber is restricted to a handful of scarcely residential areas within merely 10 or so. In other words, the monopolistic ISP are not being challenged. From the tone of this announcement, it seems that it’s just yet another experiment that won’t challenge the status quo.

  • Philip

    I think Google should take on Comcast or Time Warner. Those evil cable companies!

    • Tyler Kirchman

      Google Fiber

      • TechHog

        That’s not really taking them on, given the limited scope.

        • superg05

          but now with title 2 rules it could be sped up a good bit

        • TechHog

          I don’t think Title II is what you think it is. It has no effect whatsoever in this area. Besides, Google doesn’t want to invest the tens of billions of dollars required to compete nationwide.

    • skywalkr2


    • Mike Palomba

      I love Time Warner, it’s amazing

    • TheCudder

      And Google isn’t evil? LOL,they belong in the list with the others you named.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        lesser of evil

        • Ordeith

          Greater these days.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Regardless still the lesser

        • Ordeith


        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Doesn’t not matter the quantity…lesser is lesser

  • GinaDee

    Google is not going to come out and say they are competing with the big carriers because that would severely cripple their US Android distribution ambitions.

    Yes they will experiment to see what kind of reaction they get. If it proves wildly popular with the kind of momentum T-Mobile had in 2014 then expect them to make a bolder move.

    They still have to pay T-Mobile and Sprint “rent,” for using their networks wholesale for resale. T-Mobile will count each MVNO customer as their own but at the same time they don’t want to kill their branded pre-paid net adds momentum either. That’s why T-Mobile will implement a “kill switch,” to protect their number postpaid base if Google gets out of control.

    A lot of people love Google but Google is run by geeks and things will likely not go very smooth. I can picture all the geeks now moaning and complaining after being disappointed over alleged non-inspiring rate plans etc. Then they will have shipping problems, run out of stock quickly and orders will get accidentally cancelled. I can see it now!

  • Chris

    Reminds me of Amazon and AT&T teaming up for the old Kindles to have free 3G data. If this is to piggyback low use data like Android Wear devices that won’t bog down the network it makes sense.

  • Rob

    Google just needs to buy T-Mobile, this would lead to a great partnership and backing of lot’s of money to buy spectrum at auctions. T-Mobile needs that capital to keep up with its customer growth. T-Mobile has awesome speeds now, but what happens when and if they reach att or Verizon subscription levels? Speeds go to poop?