Google's next step: become a wireless carrier


Google is about to go further and they will start a new business, the plan is to offer a cell phone service. The company's products chief, Sundar Pichai announced this new strategy at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.


Google's wireless service is expected to be small, it won't be building out its own nationwide infrastructure. Instead, Google will "piggyback" on existing carriers. 

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Pichai affirms that the goal of Google Wireless won't be to unseat the established Big Four wireless giants. Instead, the point is to showcase wireless innovations and pressure the other carriers to do the same.


"We don't intend to be a network operator at scale; we are actually working with carrier partners, our goal is to drive a set of innovations we think should arrive, but do it in a smaller scale, like Nexus devices, so people will see what we're doing" Pichai said.


Planning since a long time.


Google, the search giant already makes the most-used mobile software on the planet, also it designs and sells phones online, and it has become an Internet service provider with its Google Fiber initiative.

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The missing link has been the cell towers needed to build out a nationwide network.

Google is expected to pay Sprint and T-Mobile just $2 per gigabyte, according to Macquarie Securities analyst Kevin Smithen.

Google also has much less debt than the carriers, which means it can free more of its significant cash flow to invest in wireless, if it wishes.


Google declined to name its partners.


Google is not the first one on trying to sell its own wireless service. Best Buy, Staples and Wal-Mart all offer wireless plans to their customers.


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But there's an obvious risk for Google at joining this business. When service inevitably goes down or connections fail, customers will blame Google instead of blaming the regular carriers.

 

April 07, 2017 by Alexandra Villarroel

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