Rumor: Google May Partner With Verizon To Be An MVNO, But Why?

There’s a rumor that Google may jump into the wireless provider game, which would be huge news except for the fact that Google wouldn’t be launching a fifth competing wireless network; it would simply function as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), reselling one of the big four’s services.

The rumor comes from The Information (behind a paywall), and according to the site’s sources, Google may partner with Verizon to be an MVNO and launch wireless services in areas that have Google Fiber.

Verizon Coverage Map
Verizon Coverage Map

MVNOs are terrific for the industry, and services like Republic Wireless and FreedomPop are doing a great job disrupting pricing and service structures. But if Google wants to break into the wireless provider game, becoming an MVNO doesn’t make much sense.

First, that would require Google to not only align itself, but rely upon another company, in this case Verizon. It’s not Google’s style to put itself in that situation, and furthermore, it cuts against Google’s push with its own fiber networks. Becoming a wireless reseller is completely incongruous with creating a game-changing fiber network that will usher in a new era of Internet connectivity and speed.

It’s possible that if Google has an inclination to create its own wireless network someday from scratch, testing the waters as an MVNO might be a good idea, but if that’s the case, Google will need to keep those goals quiet as long as it’s partnering with a future rival.