Google signs up Sprint and T-Mobile to sell its cellphone plans – report

23 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Is Reportedly In Talks With Mobile Carriers. Here’s How That Could Affect Your Privacy.

Google Inc. is getting into the business of selling wireless service to customers after reaching an agreement to use Sprint Corp.’s network, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.The search engine giant is reportedly looking into offering discounted wireless data plans in the hopes of luring mobile customers from its competitors.

As the chief executive of Atheros Communications Inc. in 2010, Craig Barratt described a coming “megatrend” of mobile devices that connect to the Internet in multiple ways, and stressed the importance of local Wi-Fi access to supplement cellular networks. Masayoshi Son, the president of SoftBank Corp. who bought Sprint in 2013, was integral in facilitating the talks between Sprint and Google, said another person, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private.

Google reported a 17 percent rise in fourth quarter earnings with profits of $3.38 billion, or $9.90 a share compared to $2.9 billion, or $8.62 per share one year ago. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) The new cell service, also reportedly being called Project Nova, could bring Google more advertising dollars and perhaps even more opportunities to more effectively target its users, an advantage that could also allow it to charge more money to businesses looking to advertise. Google has been wrestling with the mobile transition, as users gravitate away from search ads online on personal computers and instead use smartphones and tablets more.

Google has reportedly been in talks with mobile carriers T-Mobile and Sprint for portions of paid access to the wireless networks in a potential move that could bring both of the mobile carriers short-term gains but pose long-term risks and Google grows in both size and profit. Google’s mobile ad business has been growing quickly, though prices for those ads cost less than ones on PCs, meaning Google has to quickly grow the volume of mobile ad sales to make up for lower prices on each ad. The Mountain View, California-based Internet giant has already broken into the cable TV and Internet business by launching its own service, Google Fiber, in Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri, Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas. Offering wireless service would require Google to manage hardware sales to consumers and compete with the carriers that currently sell and promote Google’s Android-based mobile phones.

The planned cellphone service, for which Google will resell service on the networks of Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc., is being managed by Google’s Android team, which makes its mobile-operating system. For example, by controlling the network, Google is in a better position to ensure it customers are receiving the type of service with which the company intends to provide for them. While it’s unknown whether Google might be planning to aggregate space on various wireless networks, TheVerge reported that could help the internet giant gain a stronger footing in the mobile market by offering its customers coverage in more areas. People familiar with the strategy say Google hopes to rely as much as possible on local Wi-Fi networks, and as little as possible on Sprint and T-Mobile. The company has faced previous criticism over its privacy policies, with some privacy proponents alleging it doesn’t do enough to protect users’ private data, such as their geographic locations and email messages.

During an eight-year stint in the 2000s as CEO of Atheros, a maker of semiconductors for wireless devices and networks, he wrote his own open-source software for storing data, called BackupPC. In the 1990s, he worked alongside cellphone pioneer Martin Cooper at ArrayComm LLC, developing technology that enabled sharing of wireless spectrum for mobile services. Cooper, is using wireless networks more efficiently. “The science is there to do this, but you have to work hard to make it work and of all the people who have focused on this, Craig Barratt is among the most effective,” Mr. Last year, he was named to the L-team, a select group of top executives who report directly to CEO Larry Page , and one of the few outsiders in its ranks. Barratt is responsible for Google Fiber, the company’s fast fiber-optic Internet service; oversees efforts to deliver Internet access from satellites and drones; and is developing plans to tap higher-frequency spectrum bands for new wireless-communication uses.

Barratt met with the Federal Communications Commission to argue for making bandwidth more abundant, rather than encouraging telecom industry players to keep bandwidth scarce. He has three electrical engineering degrees and in his spare time designed a mobile app to remotely control lights, temperature and the pool cover at his home. Barratt applied to the FCC to test millimeter-wave spectrum, which can transmit lots of data quickly over short distances, but so far hasn’t been used much for wireless communications. The startup was working on a millimeter-wave service for dense, urban areas that could extend existing fiber-optic networks, housed in a gadget the size of an iPod with a similar cost.

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