At the Mobile World Congress, Google confirmed plans of launching its own wireless service in the United States, arousing tensions between the search engine giant and the top carriers in the country like Verizon and AT&T. Google envisions the service to be the “Nexus” of wireless networks.
However, Google’s Android chief, Sundar Pichai, downplayed the announcement, saying that the service will be small-scale and will not compete with carriers. Instead, Google’s wireless service will focus on demonstrating technical innovations that other carriers can eventually embrace, he said.
While Google’s intentions are good, wireless carriers selling Android devices are threatened. The telecommunications market, long dominated by the big four—Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile—will benefit from Google’s initiative. Google will officially announce the service in the coming months.
In January, Google reportedly signed deals with Sprint and T-Mobile to resell wireless services on its network. The said project, dubbed “Nova,” aims to sell wireless services on top of its Android devices, virtually making Google a mobile network operator.
Interestingly, Pichai said that, in launching the service, Google is planning to partner with other carriers, although he did not identify the wireless networks. However, he said that Google’s planned wireless service will scour networks to pick the best signal; the idea is to offer seamless handoffs while preventing dropped calls.
Additionally, Google announced that it will launch solar-powered planes to bring Internet access to remote areas around the world—a goal that Google shares with social networking giant Facebook. Google calls the ambitious concept “Project Titan,” perhaps named after the drone company, Titan Aerospace, which Google acquired last year.
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