GOOGLE CONFIRMS ITS OWN NETWORK, AVAILABLE IN ‘COMING MONTHS’
In the last iPad refresh, Apple quietly announced that it came loaded with a SIM card that would give you access to your choice of networks. Rather than committing to a long term contract with just one network, you could switch networks whenever you wished, so you had freedom over pricing and the strength of the network signal wherever you happened to be, anywhere in the world.
It was a fairly radical move. And yesterday, Google also created controversy by announcing it was planning to become a mobile network (amongst other things, of course).
Google Nova (which is just a code name at this point) will be an MVNO, similar to Tesco Mobile, which works via buying network space and piggybacking on one of the larger operators, ie. EE or Vodafone. Why this arrangement is different centres around there being just one operator. Google plans to offer its customers access to all networks, plus Wi-Fi networks, too.
The idea of ending our reliance on a single network is an interesting one, because having access to all networks means fewer black spots, fewer dropped calls, and ultimately better flexibility to buy more competitively priced plans when travelling overseas.
The UK government is current exploring a similar idea, nicknamed National Roaming, which would see all of our networks sharing each other’s cell masts.
We’ll be reporting news from Mobile World Congress all day, so make sure you keep it with The Lowdown for the latest from Barcelona.