A report by The Information revealed that Google is currently developing its own wireless communications service for smartphones that will be utilizing the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile.
The Verge independently confirmed that the so-called Project Nova is true, and that it is indeed currently under development.
Google will be purchasing bandwidth from the two aforementioned wireless carriers, which are two of the four biggest national carriers in addition to AT&T and Verizon, instead of building up its very own network. This would mean that Google is launching a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, with other popular MVNOs being Simple Mobile and Tracfone.
The interest of Google in providing access to the Internet directly to users has been growing over recent years. The company's efforts can be seen in both developed markets, through the roll out of the Google Fiber high-speed Internet service, and in rural areas, through the continued development of the Internet-granting balloons of Project Loon and the recent investment of the company in SpaceX's Internet satellite initiative.
Google, along with other Silicon Valley names such as Apple, have been connected to rumors of launching MVNOs for several years, dating back to when the first iPhone was launched.
The appeal to Silicon Valley companies from launching their own MVNOs is that by being in control of the network, the companies can have more control over the experience of users on the devices such as smartphones that they sell or support that connect to the network. By aggregating several carriers, the company will be able to offer its customers with a wider range of coverage.
However, for Google, launching its own MVNO is more than just improving the user experience. While it would be difficult for Google to undercut its host networks by Sprint and T-Mobile, especially since these two carriers have the reputation of offering significant discounts to their customers, the company looks like it will attempt to do so.
The Information reported that Google is looking to be creative with its plan pricing through communication apps that the company is developing. Details on such a strategy and its apps are scarce, but a prelude to such a move could be the current usage of Google Voice of domestic bridge lines to be able to provide users with cheaper international calls.
Project Nova could simply serve as the bridge to when Google will be in direct control of a high-speed worldwide wireless network that could be powered up by balloons, drones, satellites, or a combination of any of the above.
While there is no definite data for the launch of Google's MVNO, the date could be fast approaching as Nick Fox, an executive of Google that serves as the head of Project Nova, initially targeted to launch the MVNO last fall.