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Sundar Pichai confirms Google carrier plans, more details "in coming months"
We’ve heard rumors about how Google might get into the wireless game for years now, but last month these whispers started to gain more momentum as several big publications claimed Google’s launch of its own carrier service was imminent. Now at MWC 2015 in Barcelona, Sundar Pichai has confirmed that Google is gearing up to launch its own MVNO mobile network in the “coming months”.
During an onstage interview, Pichai was asked about the rumors regarding a Google MVNO and decided to shed a little light. While he didn’t get into specifics, Pichai said Google has no plans to be a “carrier at scale, and we’re working with existing partners.” He further iterated that they had talked to carriers like Verizon and AT&T and are working to ensure Google’s efforts don’t get in the way of existing relationships with the big carriers.
As we’ve already heard from the rumor mill, Pichai says the goal is to merge Wi-FI and cellular service in interesting new ways, and isn’t necessarily about changing wireless pricing structures (though that could still play a role). Google also wants to do new things in this space, like eliminate some of the frustration caused by dropped calls, creating a way to automatically reconnect calls when one or both lines drop unexpectedly.
So when might we hear more about Google’s plans? Pichai didn’t say, but we wouldn’t be too surprised if Google I/O ends up being the launching ground for the service. Of course, that’s really just speculation at this point. What do you think, excited about the prospect of a Google-ran carrier service?