We’ve heard rumors about Google launching its own wireless service for a few years now, and speculation has been gaining more and more momentum over the past few months. Then at MWC 2015, Google’s Sundar Pichai finally put those rumors to rest, confirming that the company is in fact launching its very own MVNO in the “coming months“. The only real details we have about Google’s plans came directly from Sundar, as he explained that Google is working with Verizon, AT&T and other “existing partners” to create its own service. Sundar also stated that he’ll have more details for us in the months ahead. But according to The Wall Street Journal, Google’s service may launch much sooner than that.
According to “people familiar with the matter”, Google’s wireless service may end up launching by the end of March, which would be way sooner than we expected. Additionally, the report states that the new wireless service will only be compatible with the Nexus 6, and no other Android devices. The report states:
The service, designed to switch among Wi-Fi and cellular networks, will initially be available only on the latest Nexus 6 smartphone designed by Google and made by Motorola Mobility, a former Google unit now owned by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. , two people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said the service won’t work with older Nexus devices, such as LG Electronics Inc. ’s Nexus 5.
The sources claim that while there’s potential for the service to launch in the coming weeks, the start might be delayed. Also, the service will reportedly combine both T-Mobile and Sprint’s networks with available Wifi networks, in hopes to obtain the best signal from any location.
Pichai expressed to us at MWC that Google has no plans to be a “carrier at scale”, and that the company is looking to provide a proof of concept with the new wireless technologies. However, plans to only make the Nexus 6 compatible with the service, at least at the beginning, is extremely scaled back from what we were thinking.
Of course, like any other rumor, this should be taken with a grain of salt. And we won’t know anything for sure until Google makes an official announcement in the weeks to come.