Google has hinted at the possibility of launching its own mobile network in the United States with the hopes of pressuring traditional providers into improving their services.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google’s senior vice-president of products, Sundar Pichai, said that the search giant was growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of innovation amongst the antiquated providers and was toying with the idea of becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
Rather than posing a direct threat the MNOs, Pichai said that the network would act as a catalyst, allowing the competition to see what was possible by thinking outside the box.
“We will do it at a small enough scale and hopefully people see what we are doing and carrier partners, if they think ideas are good, can adopt them,” he said.
Google’s entire business model is based on getting as many people as possible using its services and so it’s no surprise that it is doing everything in its power to bring mobile broadband to the masses. The Mountain View, California-based company is currently trialling blimp and drone technology, which will act as floating 4G masts, providing broadband to rural areas.
Pichai did not reveal whether Google’s mobile aspirations extended beyond American shores but Professor Will Stewart from the Institution of Engineering and Technology said that the Brits should welcome any such proposition with open arms.
“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,” said Stewart.
“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.”