After reports from The Information and The Wall Street Journal said earlier this week that Google is interested in becoming a carrier in the U.S. by purchasing wholesale access from Sprint and T-Mobile, Bloomberg Businessweek has learned that Google has indeed reached a deal with Sprint in order to sell wireless service directly to consumers.
People familiar with the matter told the publication that Masayoshi Son, the president of SoftBank Corp, the Japanese giant who purchased Sprint, was “integral in facilitating the talks between Sprint and Google.”
It’s not clear how much Google is paying Sprint for access, but the financial terms are said to be similar to other mobile virtual network operators (MVNO). Also at this time, it’s not clear what Google will charge customers, but the service might be launched at some point this year.
The report doesn’t say whether a similar deal with T-Mobile has also been reached, though it mentions that the “Uncarrier” mobile operator is also in talks with Google, at least according to recent rumors.
For Google, this wouldn’t be the first time it’s provided such services to consumers. The company already operates Google Fiber Internet networks and Wi-Fi hotspots in certain areas. Furthermore, the company has other, wilder, plans to bring Internet coverage in areas where traditional access isn’t available — the company may use balloons and/or satellites to beam down data from the sky.