Google’s Android OS can be found on handsets from just about every major carrier, but the California search giant is considering cutting out the middleman entirely. According to a new report, Google is toying with the idea of launching a first-party carrier that would compete with the likes of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.
The report, which comes from The Information, claims that Google could offer wireless services in the same areas that receive Google Fiber, which is the company’s proprietary Internet and TV service. However, Fiber is only currently available in select parts of Texas, Missouri and Utah, so the service would have to expand significantly to provide nationwide cell phone reception.
Android Authority points out that Google was once considering becoming an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). If this were to happen, Google would lease a network from an existing carrier and charge users for cell service.
The Information’s report highlights Google CEO Larry Page’s “disdain for existing wireless carriers,” and notes that the company’s co-founder feels that service providers haven’t been upgrading their networks enough and are too restrictive on how customers can use their phones.
A Google carrier service would certainly shake things up in the mobile space, but given Google Fiber’s short reach, it would likely be a while before we see a launch with considerable scale.