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March 3, 2015

Google confirms ‘Nova’ will include new MVNO role

Sundar Pichai keynote at MWC discusses move.

By Alexander Sword

Google has confirmed that it will launch its own mobile phone network.

Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President at Google, revealed the news during his keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The virtual network would allow subscribers to seamlessly switch between mobile network and wi-fi signals, always seeking out the best available signal.

It had been suggested back in January that Google would provide its own mobile service in regions with Google Fiber, by purchasing wholesale access to a network and reselling it to customers. In this case Google was rumoured to be piggy-backing on the networks of T-Mobile and Sprint.

The move is part of Google’s mysterious project, Nova, which will see Google making a broader move into networks.

Professor Will Stewart from the Institution of Engineering and Technology said: "Google’s proposed entry into the market as a mobile virtual network operator – and its existing efforts in fibre networks and airborne platforms – in the US could potentially be good news for the UK too.

"If we can put aside concerns over Google’s market dominance in some areas, the company is likely to pursue similarly innovative efforts in the UK, which could speed up the arrival of universal digital accessibility, not least by encouraging others providers to rise to the challenge.

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"It’s by no means a silver bullet, but it does have the potential to take us one step further towards achieving a reliable universal broadband service in the UK."

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