OT - Google Wireless Service to Roll Out Tomorrow

Submitted by maizeonblueaction on April 22nd, 2015 at 10:46 AM
Dunno if this is of interest to people here, but Google is rolling out their own wireless service, to be run through the Sprint and T Mobile networks. Sounds like it's all Internet based, including calls, but you can use Wi-Fi, and pay for the data you actually use.Link: http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/21/google-wireless-service/

Comments

Nobody Likes a…

April 22nd, 2015 at 10:47 AM ^

This is going to be interesting. I feel like Google will either use this to test the waters before buying spectrum and going it alone or this will just be a side business they use as a market test, like fiber is.

Given that most people are on 2 year contracts I wonder how immediate the impact will be. Either way, it should make for a fun case study

bluesalt

April 22nd, 2015 at 11:00 AM ^

Spectrum isn't that plentiful, and Google can't possibly get enough spectrum in the next auction to start a competitive network from scratch. I do agree that this lets them dip their toes into the water, but if they take the plunge, I see them buying either T-Mobile, Sprint, or DISH. T-Mobile is the most likely, because they are actively trying to sell, and are partnering with Google in this. Sprint also is rumored to be wiling to sell if the price is right, although are less actively seeking bids, and are also working with Google's test. DISH has hoards of spectrum that's presently unused, although they can't sell much of it without incurring a large penalty owed to the FCC.

mGrowOld

April 22nd, 2015 at 10:50 AM ^

Agreed.  Anytime a company with a vested stake in the distribution network and more money than God enters a market directly it gets VERY interesting indeed.

The Mad Hatter

April 22nd, 2015 at 2:33 PM ^

are they going to block or censor picture messages?  Because if they are, I'm not interested.  Sexting is prett much the only thing that cellular technology is good for.

Also, the only person allowed to see my wife's tits is me.  And pretty much anyone working at the NSA.  So me, and at most several thousand other people.

LSAClassOf2000

April 22nd, 2015 at 11:04 AM ^

What's more, it'll also let you route calls and data through WiFi, which could reduce bills even further. There's not much else we know about Google's first stab at running its own phone service, but if its goal is to shake up the wireless industry, it looks like it certainly will.

I am very intrigued by this as well. There was a study, I believe, a few years ago which said that a typical customer spends about $30 on data per month than they actually use. I imagine that Google probably structured it like this just to see how their conception of wireless service goes at first, but given that Google has complained loudly about the current structure of the market before, I also see them wanting to turn up the heat on the industry with this approach. 

Atlanta_Blue

April 22nd, 2015 at 11:17 AM ^

The basic concept of this service itself is not at all new - plenty of companies (U.S. Cellular, Ting, Republic, Straight Talk, Virgin Mobile, etc) sell service that runs on one of the existing  "Big 4" networks, but the ability of Google's service to use two carriers' networks (Sprint and T-Mobile, based on signal strength) as well as Wi-Fi, and the fact that you only pay for the data you use (I read that American cell phone users on average "walk away" from $28 worth of data per month) make this very intriguing, and perhaps will pressure all carriers to lower data prices. It's probably not intriguing enough for me to walk away from my grandfathered unlimited plan on Verizon, especially as this service will work only with one phone at the outset (the massive Nexus 6), but I'll be keeping a close eye on this should it expand to other phones (likely only future models as not many phones support 4G on both T-Mobile and Sprint).

WestSider

April 22nd, 2015 at 12:05 PM ^

but I'm still rolling on the unlimited Verizon data plan, and as long as I don't buy one of their new devices, its probably going on indefinitely. My Android phone can be used as a wifi hotspot with foxfi, so I'm feeling very fortunate. I'm like a damn unlimited data gobbler over here. Oh, and Go Blue!

JeepinBen

April 22nd, 2015 at 12:44 PM ^

The big thing, as many have mentioned, is that americans overpay for the data that they use. I think that Google's aim, as in Fiber, is to get more people using MORE data/internet/faster/etc.

 Google still makes most of its money from online advertising (thanks Brian!) so the more time spent/web sites visited/etc, the more money google makes. What google wants is more people to use more data, if that happens, they'll make more money. Google can take a loss on providing data and make it up when the data is used. It'll hopefully drive down prices for all cell phone users.

MGoCombs

April 22nd, 2015 at 1:40 PM ^

People may be hesitant with the Sprint/T-Mobile carrier deal, but if you live in an urban area, this could be a great service. Many urban areas have plenty of public wi-fi signals and at least for T-Mobile, I've found the service to work as well or better than when I had AT&T. I haven't heard too many good comments about Sprint, even in urban areas, but it's still a nice backup if the T-Mobile signal is weak.

I wonder if this comes with free international data as well, like T-Mobile's plans do. Given my proximity and frequent travel to Mexico, this was a big selling point for me.

WolvWild

April 22nd, 2015 at 4:52 PM ^

To seeing how Google's forrays into other industries impact the big boys both in cable and telecommunications.  

 

Can anyone with more anti-trust experience speak to the current state of both?  It certainly seems, at least in the case of cable, that many companies deliberately avoid competing directly with one another, leading to large areas of the U.S. only covered by one service.  Isn't that a clear violation? 

The Shredder

April 22nd, 2015 at 5:56 PM ^

I just moved to ting and so far so good. I'm done paying out the ass for phones. If google pushes this thing it even beats Tings prices and will change the game.