Rumors of a Google-backed wireless carrier have been floating around for a while now, but today the company finally confirmed those plans. Speaking at Mobile World Congress on Monday, Google boss Sundar Pichai revealed how the new network might work, and promised an official launch within the next few months.
As expected, Google is planning to offer a relatively limited service that’s more of an experiment than an official mobile carrier. “We don’t intend to be network operator at scale,” Pichai said. He added that the company is already in talks with major carriers, who could play a major part in its plans.
Google is expected to launch as Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), meaning it would be leasing its network from competing carriers, with previous rumors suggesting the company could lean on Sprint and T-Mobile for support. The search giant is also expected to rely on a mix of Wi-Fi and cellular data, potentially blurring the line between the two in an effort to provide one seamless connection.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about Google’s MVNO plans. Will the service rollout to just a few states and cities at first as it did with Google Fiber? And how much will it cost? Hopefully we’ll get the full story soon.