Search engine giant Google Inc is planning to launch as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the United States, technology site The Information reports, citing three people familiar with the matter. In order to facilitate its launch, Google is expected to sign wholesale deals with Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US, the country’s third and fourth largest mobile operators by subscribers, respectively. The MVNO project, which has been code-named ‘Nova’, is reportedly being overseen by long-time Google executive Nick Fox. The commercial launch could take place as early as this year, with the service initially available in markets where the company already offers 1Gbps Google Fiber broadband connections.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Google Fiber is currently commercially available in Kansas City and Provo, Utah, while the sign-up process got underway in Austin, Texas last month. Meanwhile, in February 2014 Google identified nine major metropolitan areas as candidates for the next phase of its programme, namely: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose; the plans encompass 34 cities across the aforementioned metropolitan areas.