MWC: Google to launch MVNO

MWC: Google to launch MVNO

Google is throwing down the gauntlet to mobile network operators with plans to launch its own U.S. MVNO.

The launch, planned to happen ‘in the next few months’ will aim to promote better mobile network services aimed at serving the growing IoT and wearables market.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress, Google’s VP of android and chrome, Sundar Pichai, said the internet giant will ink an MVNO partner deal with a US network with the aim of seeing ‘what is possible.’

Examples given by Pichai were sketchy but included automatically reconnecting dropped calls and providing seamless transition between mobile network and home wifi.

Pichai said: ‘I think we’re at the stage where we need to think of hardware, software, and connectivity together, especially with things like watches. We don’t intend to be a carrier at scale, and we’re working with existing partners. You’ll see some of our ideas come to fruition in the next few months.’

He said the move would not been seen as a threat by US network operators.

Analysts said Google’s plans could benefit the UK. Professor Will Stewart from the Institution of Engineering and Technology said: ‘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.’


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