More reports on: Telecom

Google's wireless service may allow free global roaming

07 April 2015

Google's upcoming wireless operator service is moving fast, as it is reportedly in negotiations for cheaper international roaming than the current industry standard.

The internet giant is in talks with the UK's Telecom Three to offer wireless plans that will allow people in the US to use their smartphones abroad without roaming charges, reports today said.

The plans would include voice calls, text messages and data, which would cost the same regardless of locations, according to the reports which have not so far been confirmed by the company.

The development comes almost exactly a month after Google confirmed its plans to offer a "small scale" wireless service. The project, which senior vice president Sundar Pichai said would begin as a "small scale" experiment, will allow Google to sell wireless plans directly to users.

A partnership with the Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Whamopoa, which operates Three in the UK and several other countries, would allow Google to offer its customers service in those markets without extra charges.

Google doesn't have plans to offer a similar wireless service in Europe "for the foreseeable future", as there is already a great deal of competition among European carriers where roaming charges are less prevalent, according to the report.

Hutchison is described as a "natural partner" for Google as the company has also made strides to to do away with roaming charges for Three customers.

Timing for the plans is still unclear, though the service has been rumoured for more than a year.

Data rules
Data is said to be at the centre of Google's launch into the mobile carrier market.

Data is currently limited and expensive in existing mobile phone plans, especially when travelling abroad. If Google starts revolutionizing that standard, it might make some serious head-way against the major names in the business.

One cornerstone of Google's new identity as a wireless operator could be instant switching between Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

However, Google does not have current large-scale plans to topple the current leaders in the mobile carrier service industry. Google says it wants to drive innovation rather than just monopolise a market.

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