Google might not be waiting for I/O to launch its wireless service, with reports from The Wall Street Journal claiming it will launch the mobile virtual network operator in the US later today.
This would be out of the blue, but Google has never been one for keeping to a schedule.
The wireless service has been in the works for the past few years. Google’s head of services Sundar Pichai said at Mobile World Congress that a small team had been working on the wireless carrier, capable of dynamically switching between T-Mobile USA and Sprint’s network.
Google plans to utilise available public WiFi to cut down bills, alongside offering a pay-as-you-go style data plan allowing customers to pay for the amount of data used in a month, instead of having a set contract.
This flexibility should keep prices lower than the current contracts in the US, alongside giving mobile users the freedom to use more internet, without worrying about huge charges when they go overboard on their contract.
There will be other features tied into the service - codenamed Project Fi internally - all created to allow customers more freedom to access the internet. It may be used in the same way as Google Fiber is in the US, to shake up the industry, lower prices and increase speeds.
Google is also working with Hutchison Whampoa - the conglomerate that recently acquired O2 for £10 billion - to bring data roaming charges down to customers on Google’s own wireless service.
The Nexus 6 may be the only supported smartphone at launch, as Google looks to add specialised software in order to run on its mobile carrier service. It should add more support by the end of the year, if the wireless service proves to be a success.