Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Android and Chrome, is more accustomed to the stage at Google I/O (pictured above) but this week he's talking about the future of mobile technology, and how to get emerging countries online. Speaking at Mobile World Live, Pichai has revealed a number of new things for Google that they'll share more about in the coming months, but the biggest piece of news is the confirmation that they are indeed working on their own wireless network, similar to MVNO's like Boost! in the US and Tesco Mobile in Europe. There's been speculation that Google is to enter the wireless market for some time now, and it looks like they just let the cat out of the bag.
On stage, when asked about Google's plans for an MVNO, Sundar said that "we're at the stage where we need to think of hardware, software, and connectivity together. Especially with things like watches. We don't intend to be a carrier at scale, and we're working with existing partners. You'll see some of our ideas come to fruit in the next few months." Rather than become an MVNO in the traditional sense we're used to seeing, that being the aim to offer cheaper service than the likes of AT&T and Verizon, Pichai states that Google is looking to show off innovation, and prove what can be done with a wireless network when thinking of the future. Innovations like "calls automatically reconnecting if someone drops on one end" are the things Pichai and Google are interested in pursuing.
Sundar said we would hear more on this, and other projects, later this year. As of right now, these comments alone are confirmation that Google is working on their own wireless network, in some form or another. It looks as if Google is approaching this in a Google X sort of manner, as a proof of concept. Rather than shaking up the whole industry, this could be Google's way of nudging it in a fresh direction, just like Apple did with the iPhone almost a decade ago.