Google is allegedly working on plans to be your next cell phone service provider. The Internet search giant isn't talking about its plans yet, but the word from insider sources says the company is working on deals with Sprint and T-Mobile that would make it a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, much like Cricket.
Google may be working on a deal to be your next cell service provider
Insider sources speaking with The Information said Google plans to launch its own service where it handles wireless calls and data just like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Instead of creating its own infrastructure, however, buying access Sprint and T-Mobile's networks would be able to get into the mobile service game without having to invest millions of dollars and jump through regulatory hurdles to build its own towers and antennas.
Going the MVNO route would also give Google an instant nation-wide presence instead of limiting itself to a handful of cities—a situation it currently faces with its fiber broadband Internet rollout.
Adding cell and wireless data services to its offerings would help Google position itself as more of a one-stop-shop for potential customers. The company already offers email, document creation and collaboration, social networking, and more along with its Internet search engine, all of which give Google some level of access to our personal lives and data.
Even though Google scans our email messages to help with its ad placement, it won't likely listen to our phone calls. That said, it will be able to better track our activities and wireless Internet surfing habits if it also controls our cell phone service.
Google is expected to undercut current cell service price plans, and push the big players into offering lower cost contracts with faster wireless data speeds. In essence, Google is hoping to disrupt the cell service market in much the same way Apple did for smartphones when it introduced the original iPhone.
Details surrounding Google's cell service plans are slim at the moment, so there isn't any word on when—or if—it will launch. If it does, expect AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile to watch Google closely, and if the launch is a success, it's a safe bet Sprint and T-Mobile will want contract terms that help keep Google from being too successful.
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