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Google poised to unveil wireless service and shake up mobile data in US

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Google is reportedly set to unveil its anticipated wireless service “as early as Wednesday, 22 April”, according to a report in the The Wall Street Journal today. But it won’t be offering calls per se, but instead is looking to radically shake up the mobile date market, letting users only pay for the data they use.

The WSJ reports “that Google is set to unveil its new US wireless service as early as Wednesday, pushing the Internet giant further into telecom and injecting fresh uncertainty into a wireless industry already locked in a price war.

In a key development, the service is expected to allow customers to pay only for the amount of data they actually use each month, people familiar with the matter said—a move that could further push carriers to do away with lucrative “breakage.”

Additionally, the report claims that Google’s wireless offering will operate on both the Sprint and T-Mobile networks — switching between whichever has the best connection at any given time — and will, at least initially, only work with Nexus 6 devices.

Hoping to limit the amount of actual mobile data used, it’s speculated that the service will lean on Wifi whenever possible as well.

Google’s Sundar Pichai first mentioned the company’s plans for a wireless service that would leverage Wifi to bolster cellular service earlier this year at Mobile World Congress. However, he stressed at that time that any MVNO offering would be limited in scope.

That aligns with the WSJ report, which indicates that Google agreed to terms with a reluctant Sprint that would let the companies restructure the relationship for their service if they grew too much.

According to Dave Fraser, CEO, Devicescape: “Even if the scale of Google’s wireless play will be limited to begin with, its impact should not be underestimated. By moving users between two cellular networks as well as Wi-Fi to ensure the best available experience, Google will truly be embracing a ‘connectivity first’ approach to wireless service.

Fraser continues: “Incumbent mobile operators must respond by delivering a comparable service, one that ensures their customers are given automated connectivity tailored to their immediate circumstances. A service that combines cellular with all forms of Wi-Fi and manages the entire experience for quality can be greater than the sum of its parts, and demand for such a service is growing with every disruptive innovation that comes to market.”

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