Google to launch own ‘virtual’ mobile phone network
Google is planning to launch its own mobile phone network, the software and search firm has confirmed, as it plots a major business shift that will see the company move into supplying broadband connections across the planet
Details of what Google insiders are calling “Project Nova” were unveiled by Sundar Pichai, recently promoted as second in command to co-founder Larry Page, at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.
The world’s largest mobile computing show also saw Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg outline his strategy for connecting the four billion people worldwide who still have poor internet connections or simply live life offline, through his Internet.org project.
Subscribers of Google’s “virtual network” will be able to switch seamlessly between mobile phone and Wi-Fi signals, and between the masts of competing mobile phone networks, as their phones seek out the best signals.
Dropped calls may also become less of a nuisance, as phones will automatically try to redial the number should the communication be cut mid conversation.
Nova, which will begin life as a US project, is part of a wider move by Google from software into networks, and the company’s ultimate goal is to beam internet connections to the earth’s remotest reaches, where four billion people have poor internet connections or simply live offline.
“We are creating a backbone so we can provide connectivity,” said Pichai. “We will be working with carriers around the world so they can provide services over our backbone. We want to focus on projects which serve billions of users at scale and which make a big difference in their every day lives.”
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