Google is interested in becoming your next wireless carrier, and that’s not a secret anymore, with The Telegraph having learned more details about a killer move the Search giant plans to make in order to convince you to switch carriers. At the same time, Google’s new initiative could also deliver a major blow to traditional carriers.
Google is apparently negotiating a deal with Hutchinson Whampoa, the owner of European mobile operator Three, that would give Americans the freedom to use their smartphones abroad with no roaming costs, regardless whether they use voice, text or data.
The company apparently wants to create a global network that will cost the same to use for calls, texts and data no matter where the user is situated. In addition to the U.K., a deal with Three would also let Google offer free roaming to U.S. smartphone users traveling to Ireland, Italy and many other markets where Three operates.
Google doesn’t plan to enter the British telecom market, according to the sources, who also said that Hutchinson was a “natural partner,” for Google as it also wanted to eliminate roaming charges for Three customers. A plan to eliminate all roaming charges exists in the EU, which is already a highly competitive market for mobile operators.
Unlike traditional carriers, which deploy and operate their own cell towers and additional equipment to offer cellular coverage to mobile users, including data, Google will not bother with the infrastructure. Instead, the carrier will purchase access from carriers at wholesale prices and sell it back to customers.
It’s not clear at this time when Google’s MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) carrier initiative will be available to consumers.