A top Google exec has confirmed what many have been speculating for months: That the search giant wants to start offering wireless service.
Google isn't necessarily looking to become the next Verizon and AT&T, said Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Android, at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. But, according to various news reports, Pichai said we'll begin to see more details trickle out in the next few months as Google announces partnerships with wireless carriers and other businesses. Analysts say Google is likely to partner with firms such as T-Mobile and Sprint rather than build its own network from scratch.
Asked whether Google's aim was to drive wireless prices down for consumers, Pichai responded that the experiment's goal is to showcase new mobile innovations, according to the Verge. An example: Technology that can automatically reconnect dropped calls.
But by adding wireless service to its very long chain of mobile offerings, Google would be showcasing something nobody else has tried: A totally unified cellular experience that's entirely within the Google ecosystem. Google already sells a combination of hardware and software with its line of Nexus phones.
Now, Google's wireless service — combined with a Google handset, the Android operating system, the Google app store and Google's own mapping, search and e-mail apps — stands to create a formidable vertical silo that goes far beyond the Nexus experiment.
"I think we're at the stage where we need to think of hardware, software, and connectivity together," said Pichai, according to the Verge.