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Thread: Google Looking to Team Up with T-Mobile and Sprint to Sell Wireless Services

  1. #1
    What's Jailbreak? Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Google Looking to Team Up with T-Mobile and Sprint to Sell Wireless Services


    Recent reports claim that Google is about to enter the cellular network industry through deals with US carriers, T-Mobile and Sprint. Such a move could push competitors to not only cut prices to remain competitive but also boost data speeds. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google would hop on to the T-Mobile and Sprint network and sell branded cellular services directly to customers.

    Identified as codename “Nova,” the project is essentially a vanilla mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) scheme except for the fact that Google is buying wholesale access to the mobile networks. The whole idea is referred to as an experiment within Google with the initiative reportedly designed to stroke carriers into lowering prices while delivering faster data speeds.

    Longtime executive Nick Fox is reportedly in charge of the project. Google reportedly first reached out to Sprint over a potential MVNO partnership 18 months ago with employees having already beta tested the service. That being said, Google’s endgame regarding the whole experiment continues to remain elusive. Given Google’s record of change, carriers have reportedly taken a wary approach to the proposed deal. Sprint for example is said to be inserting contract terms that trigger new negotiations if Google’s customer base hits a certain level.

    Amir Efrati of The Information believes Google’s intention for cellular network domination isn’t one that is very likely but the company is amidst developing new data delivery technologies that could one day skirt carriers altogether. An example of this being the Google X project dubbed Loon, where web access would be brought to more people in more countries via high-altitude balloons. Furthermore, Google is also known for lobbying government officials to free up regulated wireless spectrum for additional consumer networks. Google recently sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission last week stating higher-frequency spectrum could be provisioned for “the next generation of unlicensed broadband services,” as well as “entirely new technologies and innovations.”

    It remains unclear if Google’s MVNO will come to fruition at all but the company appears to be planning to sell device and cellular service packages through an online storefront. One thing to note though is that Apple was previously rumored to be releasing its own MVNO during the early iPhone days with one report claiming that Jobs wanted to build out an entire cell network dedicated to the iPhone. The whole rumor was given further credence when the company filed for patents covering MVNO systems as well.

    The talk of an Apple-branded MVNO died down after the iPhone gained ground in the global market share. Still, that doesn’t mean it has been completely ruled out. Although unlikely, if Google’s project is a success, Apple may decide to follow suit. We’ll have to wait and see.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    This would be great too bad it's on spotty networks like T-Mobile and Sprint. I also would hate to give up my subsidy on AT&T to get an iPhone for $200 or $300 bucks. I hope that Google does enter the market and force the entrenched carriers to lower their prices and bring back unlimited data.

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me buggsy2's Avatar
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    Google is an unreliable partner, dropping projects with little warning.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
    Google is an unreliable partner, dropping projects with little warning.
    No Google drop projects that are not doing too well like wave and reader.

  6. #5
    I wouldn't mind them trying. Goodness knows cell phone data plan pricing is absolutely insane. Per gigabyte cellular data is like 50x more expensive than regular broadband, which is itself insanely expensive.

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  8. #6
    I'd feel more comfortable on a network run by the NSA!

    Quote Originally Posted by eprisencc View Post
    No Google drop projects that are not doing too well like wave and reader.
    Well you're both right. Google is like an ADD kid sometimes. They start a project and act like it's the Second Coming, and then put little to no effort into it after that fact. Then when it inevitably fails, they unceremoniously drop it in the trash without giving the few users the service has much lead time.

  9. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jahooba View Post
    I wouldn't mind them trying. Goodness knows cell phone data plan pricing is absolutely insane. Per gigabyte cellular data is like 50x more expensive than regular broadband, which is itself insanely expensive.
    The problem is that Google is riding another network, not building their own, so it's not like they'll be able to offer any plans much cheaper than the network they are riding on offers.

    I'm really surprised Google and/or Apple hasn't just bought a network yet. Run it at a very low profit margin, open it to all, but give discounts to the people who use their phones, and expand the ecosystem

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    The problem is that Google is riding another network, not building their own, so it's not like they'll be able to offer any plans much cheaper than the network they are riding on offers.

    I'm really surprised Google and/or Apple hasn't just bought a network yet. Run it at a very low profit margin, open it to all, but give discounts to the people who use their phones, and expand the ecosystem
    Good point. I believe both sprint and T-Mobile offer unlimited data on their networks. Not sure how much they'll charge an mvno though.

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