Google looking to offer mobile phone service in fiberhoodsBy Shawn Knight
Those living in Google Fiber areas seem to have all the luck. As if a speedy net connection at a reasonable price weren't enough, the search giant is now reportedly considering offering wireless services to these same customers.
Details are scare at this hour but sources tell The Information that Google is interested in becoming a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. As such, they'd buy access to a larger network at a discounted rate and then sell service with their own branding slapped on top.
That may sound a bit shady but it's actually a common practice in the US, especially among pre-paid service providers. Several big names like AIO, Boost Mobile, Brightspot, FreedomPop and MetroPCS all operate as such, piggybacking on the networks of bigger providers like AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.
Part of the wireless offering could rely on Wi-Fi access points built into the fiber network. As such, Google would only need to tap into the network of a traditional carrier when service is unavailable or insufficient. It's a strategy that AT&T has been using with Wi-Fi hotspots for a while now so it's nothing too terribly innovative or new.
The report claims Google spoke with Verizon Wireless about such a deal in early 2014 and with Sprint a year before.
Even if a deal is reached, it'd likely have little impact on any of the major players considering the fact that Google's fiber network is microscopic in comparison to nationwide carriers. Then again, there's nothing wrong with experimentation on such a small scale.