Despite owning the most popular operating system for mobile devices, Google appears to want a stronger presence in the smartphone race, as a new report claims that the Internet giant and satellite-TV provider Dish Network are in talks to partner on a new wireless service that could potentially challenge some of the nation?s largest networks.
First reported by the Wall Street Journal, the talks were apparently in the preliminary stage and could amount to nothing after all. However, a new report from 9to5Google helps confirm that plans for the service are well underway, with one source citing that the network could go live by mid to late 2013.
While the details haven?t been finalized, Google is supposedly planning to make the service data only, with VoIP services, such as Google Voice, to be used for voice and SMS. Being able to provide high-speed Internet access on mobile devices could result in increased ad revenue for Google, with its search engine and other online services available on faster networks.
The company has already moved into the wired Internet division with the recent launch of an experimental fiber optic network in Kansas City, KS, which Google aims to expand to the rest of the country in the future.
The news doesn?t come as much of a surprise considering Dish has been looking to build a cellular network with the wireless spectrum it has acquired since 2008. The company has said on numerous occasions that it is looking for a partner to help with this endeavor.
Though Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has not commented on Google as a potential partner specifically, he has said that possible collaborators include companies that strive to be in the industry, but don?t currently have a wireless sector. Google would be a good choice for Dish, as the Mountain View, Calif., company easily has the means to build a nationwide network and perhaps turn its loyal users into subscribers.
By the same token, Google could benefit immensely from the joint venture by gaining some control of the wireless spectrum and ensuring the availability of services, such as Google Wallet, which is currently blocked by AT&T and Verizon, on its network.
With plans allegedly in progress, it will be interesting to watch what happens next.