21 Jan Google’s plan to sell wireless
Google is gearing up to sell wireless service directly to customers as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), by acquiring excess network capacity from Sprint and T-Mobile and reselling it to customers under its own brand. This is the same approach used by Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Pure Talk, Republic Wireless and many others in the U.S., but Google’s arrangement apparently required special consideration, according to The Wall Street Journal, given the potential threat network providers perceived in giving the search giant and Android maker too much control.
Sprint built a volume clause into their agreement with Google, per WSJ, which triggers if the Google wireless service acquires a large number of users and lets Sprint renegotiate the terms of the deal. There’s no word on how T-Mobile’s arrangement works, but given comments about the U.S. carrier by its parent company Deutsche Telekom, the provider is probably looking for ways to shore up the sustainability of its prolonged “Uncarrier” campaign.
The Google MNVO deal was originally reported by The Information, and this is far from the first time we’ve heard that the Mountain View company was interested in joining the wireless provider ranks. Google’s plans are going to bear fruit in the very near future this time around, however, with a launch likely for later this year, and with testing already begun within the organization.