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Reports of a Google MVNO have been circulating for a few months now, with Google itself even adding fuel to the fire. Today, The Telegraph reports that one of Google’s goals with its wireless network is to offer free international roaming to its customers. The report claims that Google is in talks with Hong Kong-based Huchison Whampoa, the owner of Three and soon O2, regarding its ambitions.

Hutchison Whampoa already allows its customers to roam in the United States and other countries at no additional cost, so a partnership with Google makes sense. With the deal, customers of Google’s wireless network would be able to roam on Hutchison Whampoa’s in other nations at no additional cost, as if they were at home. Hutchison Whampoa operates networks in Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Ireland, and if its acquisition of O2 goes through, the UK.

In an interview, Google SVP Sundar Pichai recently stated that the company is in fact working on an MVNO that will launch in the coming months. The offering, Pichai said, will be “smaller scale,” although it could still shake up the mobile market, an industry that could certainly be benefited by a shake up.

Being an MVNO, Google itself would not build out any wireless infrastructure, but rather buy wholesale access to Sprint and T-Mobile’s existing networks. A report recently claimed that the network would only be compatible with the Nexus 6 at launch.

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Chance Miller


Chance currently writes for both 9to5Google and 9to5Mac, in addition to 9to5Toys.