Google Confirms a Limited Wireless Service at MWC 2015


Google will be launching its own wireless service in the near future. Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior VP of products, confirmed the project at the Mobile World Conference 2015 in Barcelona. The search giant is currently in talks with wireless carriers about the service. An official announcement of the project will be given in the coming months.

Pichai noted that Google’s wireless service would limited. It’s not the company’s intention to become a “network operator at scale,” according to Pichai. Google will work with carrier partners on a smaller scale with the intention of driving innovation in the market.

A wireless service from Google could make waves in the industry just as the Google Fiber project has done for broadband. The Fiber project provides ultra-fast Internet service to select markets and has forced cable and telecom companies to increase their speeds.

While there has been no confirmation of which carriers Google is working with, there is speculation that the company is in talks with T-Mobile and Sprint to create a cellular service. Local Wi-Fi networks would also be used to bridge coverage gaps.

Google’s wireless service project is another aspect of the company’s mission to connect the world. Project Loon used balloons that lifted cellular radios into the air to provide coverage to rural and remote areas of the country. Those balloons can now stay up in the air for as long as 200 days, according to Pichai. And the next phase, Project Titan, will take advantage of a newer technology: drones.

Project Titan would take drone aircrafts equipped with cellular radios to provide even more coverage. These drones could be used in areas that need extra coverage, such as disaster zones. Google hopes that a network of drones and balloons from Project Loon can help provide coverage to areas that have no other options.