We knew this was coming. Google is aiming to become a wireless operator.
According to a report from The Information, Google will soon launch an MVNO that operates on Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s networks.
The Information just this week broke the news that Google was investing in Elon Musk’s Space X. That news was later confirmed by Google.
The Internet search giant has reportedly codenamed the new venture Nova and a number of employees at the company have already tested the service. The service will likely launch this year.
The idea isn’t new that Google would eventually participate more deeply in the telecom space. In 2012 reports pegged Google and Dish as partners on a new wireless network. In 2014, the Information reported that Google had plans to launch an MVNO on Verizon’s network.
Google has a vested interest in getting as many people online as possible. The company’s Project Loon is working to create a network of balloons that use unlicensed spectrum to provide cellular coverage for otherwise neglected areas of the world.
A Google MVNO would enter a U.S. field filled with dozens of smaller virtual operators and larger ones like TracFone, which had 25.8 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter.
A Google MVNO could also take subscribers away from AT&T and Verizon and cannibalize Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s subscriber bases.