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MVNO Rumor Roundup

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In the last few months, there have been rumors circulating that several different companies are considering wading into the prepaid MVNO market. Some of them are pretty credible, while others are not. I was originally going to do a separate post on all three of the main rumors, but since it’s all heresay, here’s a roundup of what we think we know so far:

 

Google will launch one eventually

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You might recall last month the mobile world was abuzz with wild rumor and fancy over the idea that Google might launch it’s own MVNO. And, with Google’s financial prowess and history of upsetting markets, it’s easy to see why people were both excited and skeptical.

Well, as it turns out, the rumors were actually right for once. At the Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, Spain, Google ‘s second-in-command exec, Sundar Pichai sort of confirmed that Google is going to enter the mobile space. Originally, it was tweeted that Google would “launch in the coming months” but later Pichai corrected the error and said that the MVNO model would only be “announced” and implied the actual launch was quite a ways out.

From what I have read, Google is mostly going to treat this an experiment and plans a pretty small launch to start with. Pichai said that Google isn’t interested in competing with AT&T, but the company does plan to help push improvements overall with some cool new features like automatically reconnecting a dropped call.

“It’s a very small-scale compared to the rest of the OEM industry, but it pushes the needle,” Pichar told the Verge.

 

Some people think Amazon should

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I saw an article yesterday on Business Insider that suggested that Amazon might be considering launching its own MVNO sometime in the near future, following Google’s lead. You’re probably familiar with Amazon’s total flop, the Fire Phone, and in 2012, Amazon actually ran its own MVNO in Japan with the help of a Japanese partner.

However, all of that being said, I can’t seem to find a whole lot of information on it and I can’t help but think that it might be a bit of a stretch for the company. Amazon hasn’t said anything official about the idea, so this is really little more than rumor at this point.

 

Comcast is hiring for it

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Cable provider Comcast posted a job ad late last month calling for executives to help lead the company in its foray into the “wireless ecosystem.” So, while we know that Comcast is definitely up to something, exactly what it still a little fuzzy. Some people suggest that Comcast will be offering a wifi-only calling service, while others claim that the company is instead going to launch a full-on MVNO. Comcast, of course, is remaining silent for the moment, although I have to say that the wifi calling service seems far more likely.

Of course, with Comcast’s horrible reputation for customer service, I can’t imagine that very many people would sign up for such a thing unless it was very competitively priced. But then again, maybe I’m just more picky with it comes to wanting good customer service from my companies.