Google is set to launch its own US mobile network “in the next few months” as part of a move to spur innovation among operators.
The search giant’s vice president of android and chrome, Sundar Pichai, told telecoms executives at Mobile World Congress that Google would rent network capacity and launch a consumer-facing network to “show what’s possible”.
He gave few details but highlighted features like calls that automatically reconnect if someone drops on one end and handing off voice calls from the mobile network to household wifi as possible experiments Google could run on its own network.
“I think we’re at the stage where we need to think of hardware, software, and connectivity together,” said Pichai. “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 fruition in the next few months.”
Pichai described Google’s network as “small scale” compared to the larger American operators and did not comment on whether the plans would extend outside the US.
He also denied the move would be seen as a threat by the likes of Verizon and AT&T.