Google is planning to start an MVNO business on T-Mobile US or Sprint’s network. Reports in the US claim the project codenamed Nova and headed by Google Executive Nick Fox, is set to launch this year.
The WSJ reported Google has already struck deals with both Sprint and TMUS to buy wholesale access to the third and fourth largest mobile networks in the US. There has been speculation it could limit coverage to certain cities or only make the service only available to its Google Fiber broadband customers.
It would mark a new era for Google not only in terms of market segment but also in terms of its relationship with customers. With its free advertising-based offerings the firm currently largely avoids having to conduct customer service activities or direct billing, which it would have to do as an MVNO. It could change the mobile landscape by beginning to offer low-cost, localised services.
According to the WSJ, Google has been lobbying the FCC for some time to make available higher spectrum frequencies, which are largely deemed not suitable for mobile services. However, these bands could potentially be used in smaller areas.