Update: The original source of the images is now saying these are fake.

What you see above is every telecom exec’s nightmare.  Google is stepping up the mobile phone value chain once again and making its own SIMs.  But it isn’t as drastic as it may seem.

Google Employees in Spain are getting a surprise SIM card with their Nexus S phones these days.  What you see above and below is Google’s own SIM card which allows the ‘sorta search monopolist’ to become a MVNO in Spain.  While Google doesn’t own its own towers or infrastructure (it buys bulk data from the local telecoms – in this case Telefonica, Vodafone, etc.), the move allows Google to control more of the phone experience.  For instance, it can pay one price for bulk data rather than on a per phone basis.  It can also dictate which carriers the phones pull in data from based on quality of service or price.  Roaming internationally can also be controlled and owned as well.

We’ve heard Spain is first but more European locals will start seeing these soon.  MVNOs have gone the way of the Dodo in the US with Sprint buying Virgin and Boost and others departing the market.  Perhaps if these do well for employees in Spain, Google will consider bringing back the MVNO to the US for not only its employees, but also Android customers.

Will the telecoms continue to allow Google to climb up the value-chain like this unabated?  via Spanish forums. More images below, including a picture of a phone on the “Google_Es” Network:

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13 Responses to “Google to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator in Spain, rest of Europe coming soon?”

  1. Karlitos says:

    It seems it is a fake (unfortunately ;-).
    It would have been a good strategy to introduce google wallet (in other words, NFC) in Europe bypassing MNO, which are stakeholders in all current pilots, as NFC banking applications run within the operator SIM.

  2. Pankaj Garg says:

    Apple got a patent so the phone can decide the operator based on the best bid..

  3. Tonino says:

    This is a fake create by some users in the spanish web "forocoches"

  4. George says:

    Telefonica (movistar), Vodafone (before Airtel) and Orange (before Amena) has their own GSM and 3G network, and Yoigo only 3G network (and it renting GSM Vodafone network)

  5. KilFer says:

    One comment. Telefonica & Movistar are the same company; and Vodafone are one candidate too.

  6. Martha says:

    Er Telefonica and Movistsr is the same thing. Orange doesn't have a network in Spain

  7. fuseprods says:

    I don't know if it is fake or not, but Telefónica and Movistar are the same company (Telefónica Móviles SAU in Spain), maybe you want to say Vodafone ;)

  8. Joaquin says:

    Telefonica and Movistar are the same company ;) The 4 networks that we have here in Spain are Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo.