We’ve heard rumors of two new Google initiatives in recent months, and today Google exec Sundar Pichai went ahead and confirmed ‘em both at MWC 2015.
Sundar Pichai, who heads up Chrome and Android at Google, confirmed that Google is working on a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Pichai said that Google doesn’t want to be a big carrier and that it’s actually working with its existing carrier partners on the offering. The exec also teased that Google is working on merging cellular and Wi-Fi networks in a “seamless” manner and that we’ll get more information on Google’s ideas in the coming months.
Pichai also touched on Android Pay, confirming that its an application program interface (API) that anyone can build into their own payment service. Android Pay will have NFC and will be used in both Google Wallet and mobile payment services in China. When asked about the recently-announced Samsung Pay, Pichai said that Google is on a “different timeline” than Samsung and that the two don’t necessarily compete.
So there you have it. Details are light on both of these projects, but it’s nice to see Google come out and confirm both of them. Rumors have suggested that Google’s MVNO will flip between Sprint, T-Mobile, and Wi-Fi signals to always provide you with the best signal, and that could be a big deal if it works as rumored. Meanwhile, it sounds like the Android Pay API is focused on providing a solid backend to payment services from other companies.