Software behemoth Google is planning to launch a small mobile network across the US, a report from City A.M. can confirm. The move is seen as a potential threat to competing telecoms businesses, such as AT&T, as the search engine giants add another avenue of communication to their empire.
The project aims to allow users to switch between Wi-Fi and mobile network on Google’s virtual network – which works by ‘piggy-backing’ on existing networks to boost performance. The company are denying that this is an attempt to muscle in on the competition and that it’s merely a way of showing other businesses what can be done with the technology.
The news was announced by second in command to company co-founder Larry Page, Sandar Pichai, at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona this week. According to The Guardian, some insiders are referring to the Google’s mobile network plan as Project Nova.
Pichai has said that the plan is to launch the product at a low cost but with high performance; essentially following the same model as Google’s line of Nexus mobile devices.
We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale…All innovation in computing happens at intersection of hardware and software. That is why we do Nexus devices. We do it at enough scale to achieve impact. We are at a stage now where it is important to think about hardware software and connectivity together.
Alongside their US mobile network service, Google are also experimenting with methods of reaching places that have either poor connectivity or none at all: “Project Link,” “Project Loon,” and “Project Titan.”
Project Link aims to bring high speed internet to homes and businesses in places like Uganda capital, Kampala, with plans to launch a similar service in other parts of Africa. Project Loon will use helium-filled balloons which beam out 4G mobile internet signals, which is currently scheduled for 2016. Finally, Project Titan will utilise US-developed gliders to bring broadband internet to wider areas.
We think we can bring first-world connectivity to many rural areas…You can imagine planes and balloons which we can stitch together to create this mesh of floating cell towers. It sounds like science fiction at first but we’ve made tremendous progress.
With so many other Google projects currently in the pipeline, such as a mobile payment system that could replace their current Google Wallet, their mobile network system is not only one more step towards bringing connectivity to the world, but could also be at odds with Facebook’s Internet.org project, which is set to offer very similar services to Google.
[Lead image via TechInfine.]