Sources speaking to The Information claim Google is in talks with Verizon about the possibility of a Google mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). If a deal is worked out, the search giant would essentially be able to offer wireless carrier services without actually owning the infrastructure—that would be Verizon’s gig. Google could then set its own rates on coverage, though it’s not at all clear what plans or pricing would be implemented; it’s not even clear how far along talks are between the two companies anyway.
Google’s presence with Fiber, not to mention an entire lineup of Nexus devices, wouldn’t make such a move very surprising. More like a natural step toward Google’s attempts to get users to use Google-only services. If such a service does come to fruition, it’ll likely be offered in select markets, similar to Fiber. And if interest is there, Google will consider rolling its own wireless service out to other areas around the U.S. It’s unclear what incentives customers would have for switching to Google, but one would assume pricing would be the biggest draw.
As far back as May of last year, reports claimed Google was working on wireless networks in emerging markets, though nothing ever came of that. It’s unclear if Google’s new project is an extension of that, or if Google now wants to turn its attention solely on the U.S. Imagine being able to use a Google network with the company’s lineup of Nexus devices, including Google Play Edition devices. I have no doubts people would jump right into that, especially if the prices and plans are competitive.