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April 07, 2014

Google Looking At Launching MVNO in Google Fiber Areas

Google might be looking to get deeper into the smartphone business, especially in areas where it has already rolled out its fiber services, according to recent reports.

The Information, says Google executives met with Verizon over the winter and the two groups talked about a number of different topics. The most interesting of those topics was the Internet giant’s interest in becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in markets where Google Fiber is already up and running.

Google has taken a look at becoming its own mobile carrier before, but this specific report points out that it might be the first time Android is on strong enough footing that it could stand against the inevitable blowback that would come from the more established carriers.

The talks about being an MVNO in areas like Kansas City and Provo, Utah are still in the very early stages. In order to make it work, Google would have to license spectrum from companies that would be its competitors like T-Mobile and Verizon. That’s the first hurdle that must be overcome. While Google and Verizon have apparently talked about the move, there isn’t any indication as to whether Verizon would want to help out someone they’d be competing with like this.

Google would roll out this MVNO in markets where Google Fiber is already installed because it would give the company the ability to be a carrier without changing the balance of power too much right out of the gate. The company could also offset the load new mobile customers would put on the firm by offloading them to its high-speed Wi-Fi network.

Google has already set up a kind of marketplace with its Google Play Store. This could also be used to sell cellular phones that would be compatible with the service. The drawback is always going to be just how much fight the company will see from the other cellular carriers. It also needs to be stressed that Google hasn’t announced anything close to a definitive move yet. It appears this plan is still in the very early stages.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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