Skip to main content

It's official: Google is launching its own mobile network

Google has confirmed it will launch its own mobile network in the coming months.

This information has been confirmed by Google's vice president Sundar Pichai, during a talk at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Pichai is in charge of Android, Chrome and Google apps, and for the new network he says that they want to bring some features they hope other carriers will adopt at a later stage.

The network will be (for starters, at least) on a relatively small scale, and confined to USA only, and Google will need to partner with mobile operators there in order to succeed.

The service known as MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) will probably see its partners in Sprint and T-Mobile. Among some key features should be an option for an automatic reconnecting of dropped calls, and merging cellular and WiFi into a seamless experience.

Pichai said the project would mimic the company's Nexus program for smartphones and tablets, in that it would push features that it hopes its carrier partners would adopt in the future, IBTimes reports.

During the keynote in Barcelona, Pichai also gave updates on Google’s other connectivity projects, including both Project Loon and Project Titan.

Project Loon, aimed at bringing wireless internet to places where internet is unavailable, has seen some serious progress.

The project began two years ago with the balloons struggling to remain in the sky for five days, but today the balloons are staying afloat for up to six months, and is beginning to serve 4G speeds as well.

Project Titan, in which drones are planned to fly endlessly, bringing wireless internet, should start its test flights very soon.

Professor Will Stewart from the Institution of Engineering and Technology has offered his thoughts, saying: “Google's proposed entry into the market as a mobile virtual network operator – and its existing efforts in fibre networks and airborne platforms – in the US could potentially be good news for the UK too.

"If we can put aside concerns over Google's market dominance in some areas, the company is likely to pursue similarly innovative efforts in the UK, which could speed up the arrival of universal digital accessibility, not least by encouraging others providers to rise to the challenge.

"It’s by no means a silver bullet, but it does have the potential to take us one step further towards achieving a reliable universal broadband service in the UK."