I wouldn’t be surprised if Google came out with their own wireless serviceAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Google has become such a familiar name across the board, whether you’re involved in the industry or not. What started out as a small search engine, battling for popularity against the likes of other search giants like Yahoo, is now one giant network of a multitude of services like e-mail, cloud storage, its own mobile operating system, hardware, a popular Internet browser, instant messaging services, and now they even have their own broadband service known as Google Fiber. So when the rumor surfaces that Google might be thinking about opening their own wireless service, I’m not exactly surprised.
The latest rumor suggests that Google would operate as an MVNO, which basically means that Google would be using already active networks when it needs to, such as Verizon or Sprint. However, when a phone doesn’t need to pull service from another provider, the rumor suggests that Google would depend on WiFi signal, presumably from its own Fiber network, to get service to phones being used on the network.
The rumor itself isn’t anything new, or really anything surprising given just how far Google has come with their services and how cheaply priced those services are. They’re kind of like the Wal-Mart of the tech industry... kind of. Google likes to provide goods and services at reasonable prices. Just look at the pricing model of the Nexus phones, Chromebooks, or Google Fiber. Cheap, cheap, and cheap. So one can only assume that if they were to open their own wireless network, the price plan each month will probably be rather budget-friendly.
Google could also probably find success in an MNVO network simply by being Google. They’ve built their brand so tremendously that, as mentioned earlier, most people are going to at least know the Google name these days. However, given that the Google Fiber rollout seems to be taking quite some time to spread out from Kansas City, I can’t imagine that we’ll be seeing this Google mobile network release any time soon; even if the phones can run on other carriers, I imagine they’re putting their main focus on rolling out Fiber for now.
The idea of having Google as a network provider is certainly an idea to think about, but given that we only have speculation to work off of, it’s hard to say whether one would want to switch or not. However, I do think that Google has the resources necessary to make a compelling argument to make the switch. Between a possible Fiber connection (extremely fast data connection), using other carriers for outside connection, and possibly extremely low monthly plans, Google would have a lot going for them. One does have to wonder what kind of phones would be offered, though, or if it would at least allow BYOD. Google would be limiting themselves if they only allowed Android phones on the network, but that doesn’t seem likely.
For now, though, we’ve still got plenty of changes going on within the networks we already have. With T-Mobile still making changes with its UnCarrier plans and other carriers seemingly taking notes, good things are already happening when it comes to the big four and MVNOs that we already have available to us. Still, a Google mobile network seems like it might be something to look into if the rumors turn out to be true.
Readers, what are your thoughts on a Google network? What would you need to see from them in order to consider a switch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!