Google confirms plans to launch its own wireless service

Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai Getty / Stephen Lam

Google is going to be a wireless provider just like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

Well, maybe not just like those big companies.

At industry trade show, Mobile World Congress, Sundar Pichai said Google will do its own wireless service at a “small scale” to “show what’s possible.”

Google is going to be a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). An MVNO buys wireless spectrum from someone else, like AT&T, and then rebrands/repackages the service for users.

Pichai is framing Google’s wireless plan as an experiment along the lines of what Google did with the Nexus phones. It wants to show bigger wireless carriers what’s possible.

So, initially, this isn’t going to be a big product. But, if it works, we could see Google expanding it over time.

Here are tweets from Amir Efrati, a reporter at The Information, who live tweeted Pichai talking about Google’s MVNO:

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