Google is set to shake the telecom industry with its plan to offer its own U.S cellular network service in a bid to improve connectivity on mobile phones. On Monday, Sundar Pichai of Google confirmed the unveiling of the ambitious plan to launch a mobile network using a combination of cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots.
Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of products, framed the new service as an experiment. He said Google is working with wireless companies to offer the service which will be announced in “the coming months.” “I think we are at a stage where it is important to think about hardware, software and connect-ability together,” Pichai said.
Conversely, the service would be small-scale and not intended to compete with the four big U.S national carriers, Pichai told at industry conference in Barcelona. Instead, it be would intend to demonstrate technical innovations that carriers could adopt.
However small Google’s entry maybe, the move by the creative and well-capitalized technology company is likely to send ripples through a business long controlled by Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. It is a strong sign that Google’s ambitions extend beyond selling advertising and services over the Internet to influencing how Internet access is delivered.
The specifications of the plan could be expected in the coming months. Google would not be working on its own but will rely on the infrastructure of the carriers around the world for the network service and also they can be benefited over Google’s backbone. The project has been code-named ‘Project Nova.’
Any plan to supplement cellular service with Wi-Fi networks will have to contend with the reality that many Wi-Fi hotspots are private. Google already offers free hotspots access in several cities like New York and San Francisco, but it is vague if the company will expand these offerings. One Long Island-based ISP, Cablevision, recently launched a Wi-Fi-only phone plan that relies on the company’s extensive hotspot access rather than a cellular network.
The news about the Project Nova comes soon after Google unveiled plans for a futuristic campus for its employees. Google has also been expanding its role as an Internet Service Provider through its high-speed land-line Google Fiber service and with experimental aircraft-based connectivity.