Google’s Sundar Pichai held a keynote during Mobile World Congress detailing Google’s journey through mobile and in the process confirmed one of the biggest rumors in the past few months in the search giant planning to launch an MVNO with help from select carriers.
Pichai stated that Google hoped to use the service to highlight newer technologies and not compete with established carriers. Google will instead work with wireless carriers to offer the service rather than create a network of its own and the service is intended to be limited in terms of customers rather than being a full commercial venture. Rumors have suggested that Google will partner with Sprint and T-Mobile, but Google has not made further announcements and more specific information is expected around Google I/O later this year.
Pichai also addressed Samsung Pay and how it would affect the future rollout of Android Pay by saying that they are not necessarily competitors and that Samsung would be free to integrate Samsung Pay into Android by using Android Pay APIs, just as Google Wallet will be integrated into Android using the same platform in the future. Whether Samsung Pay will affect its relationship with Google remains to be seen, as the service will not launch until the second half of the year and Android Pay is expected to launch this Summer.