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Google has confirmed that it’s going to become a wireless carrier

There were rumors circulating a few weeks ago that Google was planning to expand its telecommunications expansion past Google Fiber and into the realm of wireless service, and now the company has confirmed those rumors. Later this year, Google will be partnering with existing carriers in the United States to become a mobile virtual network operator, which essentially means that Google rents infrastructure and spectrum from other companies. 

Google will try its hand at providing cell phone service this year by partnering with existing wireless carriers. Sundar Pichai, the company’s senior vice president of Chrome and Android, revealed in a speech at Mobile World Congress today that the company will be testing Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) capabilities in the coming months. Pichai said that the company has no plans to be “a network operator at scale.” Instead, he likened the program to what Google does with its Nexus devices, showcasing new features in Android while leaving the bulk of the handset market to other players. The announcement comes after rumors surfaced last month about the program. Pichai said that Google is working with a number of mobile carriers to bring the service to market, but declined to say which ones specifically. Past reports pegged T-Mobile and Sprint as collaborators for the service.

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