Google reportedly spoke to Verizon Wireless and Sprint about the possibility of buying cellular capacity as part of a wider plan to run its own wireless network.
According to sources at The Information, Google executives had talks with Verizon Wireless in early 2014 and with Sprint in early 2013.
Details are sketchy, but Google was apparently exploring the possibility of using mobile network capacity in areas where the search engine giant had already rolled out high-speed fibre access.
Google Fiber, however, is only available in two US metro areas. But that could change. Google, on its website, says it’s in “early discussions” with 34 cities in 9 metro areas about rolling out fibre-optic access.
Google’s wireless network, speculates The Information, could partly depend on Wi-Fi (using Google Fiber for backhaul) and then use wholesale cellular network capacity when customers are out of Wi-Fi reach.
This is not the first time Google has been linked with MVNO plans. Reports from the Spanish press more than two years ago suggested Google might use Spain to test the ground for an MVNO launch.
And as far back as 2007 there was speculation that Google was working with O2 for the launch of a UK venture.