Google Plans Major Play In Wireless Partnering With Sprint And T-Mobile

Is Google about to win the wireless wars? It's a logical question that needs to be asked, analyzed, re-asked, re-analyzed, and debated. And if you're wondering what the flip we're talking about, it's this -- there's a new report suggesting Google is partnering with select wireless carriers to sell its own brand wireless voice and data plans directly to consumers.

Whoa, that's big. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's consider those select carriers. According to subscription site The Information and the "three people with knowledge of the plans," Google will tap into networks belonging to Sprint and T-Mobile for its new service, buying wholesale access to mobile voice and data in order to make itself a virtual network operator.

We see the look of disappointment in your eyes, and we share it with you. Had Google struck a deal with Verizon and AT&T, or even just Verizon, we'd be much more stoked -- awesome coverage backed by a company like Google? Yeah, that'd be a winning combination.

Google Phone
Image Source: Flickr (opopododo)

But it is what it is, which is nothing at the moment. However, it might be something in the near future. Until then, the project will be known as "Nova," which is reportedly being led by Google's Nick Fox, a longtime executive with the company. Apparently Fox has been overseeing this for some time now, and it seems likely a launch will take place this year.

What's motivating Google to get into the wireless game in such a fashion? As the story goes, Google's interested in expanding its business outside of its core to "spur broader industry change." Google's already doing this with its Google Fiber initiative, and since it's already a major player in mobile, offering cellular service isn't exactly a stretch.

The real question mark is pricing. Google's gigabit Internet service is relatively affordable, and one would expect the company to offer enticing cellular plans as well. However, that will be partially dependent on what Sprint and T-Mobile are willing to do. An ultra-cheap unlimited everything plan probably isn't realistic, or is it? There are complexities here to consider, like Google offering to fund network upgrades in exchange for being able to sell super cheap plans to consumers.

It's all speculation at this point, though definitely something to keep an eye on.