Tech titan Google is continuing to diversify. The company already has its finger in the pie in more than a dozen industries, including advertising, robotics, AI, self-driving cars, and of course, search technology, but apparently that’s not enough. Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai announced on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the search giant was planning to become a cell phone provider in the U.S., but that the firm was only really dipping its toes in the water at this time.
More on Google’s plans to become a mobile provider
Reports over the last few months have suggested the firm is launching a service to be offered across an existing cellular network under a Google brand. This would make Google a “mobile virtual network operator”. However, there had been no confirmation of the company’s plans until Sundar Pichai, spoke at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.
“You’ll see us announce it in the coming months,” Pichai elaborated. He also noted Google service will not be a full-service mobile network competing with existing carriers.
The plan is to use the new MNVO service as a platform to experiment with various new services for Android smartphones.
Pichai drew an analogy to the Google’s current development model in hardware, where the firms cooperates with existing partners on its Nexus line of devices. The new phones allow Google to garner experience in hardware as well as a platform to develop various services, but are not really supposed to challenge major smartphone firms such as Samsung and HTC.
He also commented he hopes other cellular carriers will run with some of the ideas and innovations Google comes up with should they prove successful with users.
Statement from Google exec Pichai
“We’ve always tried to push the boundary of what’s next in hardware and software, and we do that with the Nexus devices today,” Pichai noted in his comments on Monday. “We want to be able to experiment along those lines.”