Google had MVNO talks with Verizon, Sprint – report

04 APR 2014

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.

  • Jeff Rhodes

    Maybe Google wants a Google Voice number to have a wireless extension device where both devices ring simultaneously when the Google Voice number is dialed? That “one billable number” could be implemented with “partial porting” the Google Voice numbers to an MVNO’s HLR/HSS. This would one-up the existing wireless-landline “one number” offerings that actually require two billable numbers! VZ has a joint venture with cable companies and those “one number” offers could be affected?

  • jnffarrell1

    It’s about the information, not the voice. ATT and Verizon are sitting on massive amounts of unused bandwidth. The true enormity of the waste can only be seen when you add coverage area and seconds in the day to GHz. If one looks at Gbit/sec*sec/day*area/telco-tower*100,000telco towers almost nothing of the rights they bought from the government is being used. Google just wants to raise telco efficiency from nil to three time nil.


Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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