Google may not be a mobile operator just yet but its wireless ambitions already extend to the as-yet-unwritten 5G standard.
The search giant is currently looking for a Wireless System Engineer, Google Fiber with experience in 3G, 4G and 5G protocols as well as WiFi. Nevermind that the fifth generation wireless protocols, which are expected to start being deployed around 2020, haven't yet been standardized. (See Ericsson Testing 5G Use Cases, CFO Says.)
The job ad, however, as well as others, indicates that Google clearly has an eye to the future, and is looking to enable people on the Google Fiber network to switch between wireline, cellular and WiFi options as easily as possible.
Specifically, the ad calls for expertise in WiFi roaming and integration between wireless LANS and 4G LTE networks. Of course, it has been reported that Google wants to become a virtual mobile network operator in the US using Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. 's networks to do the heavy lifting.
Google hasn't actually confirmed its "Project Nova" MVNO plans yet. But Verizon's CFO, Fran Shammo, is already talking about Google as if it is a real competitor in the wireless space. (See Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge.)
Another ad states that Google's interest is in "the role of technology in transforming wireless access worldwide." Indeed the firm is looking to fill a good number of wireless infrastructure-related positions.
Google has already acquired technology that it could use in a 5G future with the acquisition of Millimeter wave (mmWave) radio startup Alpental last summer. (See Google Buys Alpental for Potential 5G Future.)
Early 5G tests suggest that 5G will offer downloads up to 30 times faster than today's 4G LTE networks. Millimeter Wave radios, which operate between 30GHz and 300GHz on the radio spectrum, are likely to be one of the ways that those speeds are achieved. (See Helping Millimeter Wave Achieve Its Potential.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading