Google may be trying to create a global network through partnership deals that would give users a simple price for mobile wherever they are in the world.

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

April 6, 2015

2 Min Read
Report: Google Planning Overseas Roaming Shake-Up

Google is reportedly talking with operator Hutchison Whampoa about a deal to allow Americans to roam onto international mobile networks for no extra charge.

UK paper The Daily Telegraph reports that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) wants to create "a global network that will cost the same to use for calls, texts and data no matter where a customer is located." Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY) owns the Three UK network in the UK and just announced it's spending $15.2 billion to acquire the O2 brand from Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF). (See Telefónica Seals $15.2B O2 Sale to Hutchison.)

It appears the way that Google will achieve its aim is by inking deals with carriers round the world. The search giant is said to be working with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. on a deal to run a Google-branded service in the US. (See Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge.)

For more on mobile networks, check out the LTE channel here on Light Reading.

Google more or less confirmed it has some wireless ambitions at last month's Mobile World Congress, but said that its wireless plans are so far pretty limited. As Light Reading has reported though, the company is definitely examining ways to move customers between cable, WiFi and cellular networks. (See Google Confirms Scaled-Down MVNO Plans and Google Searching for 5G Wireless Engineer.)

If Google does try to break the model of high international charges, however, this could be disruptive for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

Google is not the first company to try and shake up the global roaming market. T-Mobile significantly dropped its international roaming fees on calls and texts in many countries in 2013, although the reported Google plans appear to go even further. (See Bills Don't Lie: T-Mobile Drops International Roaming Charges.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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