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Excited about Google becoming a wireless carrier? There’s a huge catch

Published Mar 6th, 2015 9:00AM EST
Google Wireless

Android is all about choice. Google’s open mobile platform rocketed from out of nowhere to become the world’s leading mobile operating system, and its meteoric rise was thanks in large part to the wide range of Android-powered devices that flooded the market.

Google loves attacking new industries, as we all know, and the company confirmed that one of its next big moves will be to launch a wireless carrier. Interestingly, however, a new report claims that the key element that made Android a hit may be completely abandoned by Google’s wireless carrier service at launch.

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According to a report from The Wall Street Journal issued on Thursday night, when Google finally does embark on its effort to become a successful mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), its new service will have a very peculiar limitation when it debuts: Subscribers will only have one phone to choose from.

The service, designed to switch among Wi-Fi and cellular networks, will initially be available only on the latest Nexus 6 smartphone designed by Google and made by Motorola Mobility, a former Google unit now owned by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. , two people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said the service won’t work with older Nexus devices, such as LG Electronics Inc. ’s Nexus 5.

On the plus side, WSJ says that Google’s new wireless service could launch as soon as later this month.

If we’ve learned anything from Google’s past, it’s that we can expect the company’s new wireless service to be insanely competitive in terms of price. We can also probably expect to sacrifice some privacy if we do choose to jump on board.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.