Google launches Project Fi mobile phone network

Google has detailed its plan to run a mobile phone network in the US. The firm will rent voice and data capacity from two existing operators, Sprint and T-Mobile, and use existing wi-fi hotspots, rather than build new infrastructure from scratch. Initially, Project Fi will only be offered to Nexus 6 handset owners.
Google Fiber, the firm’s "ultra-fast" broadband service, is already seen as a disruptive force in the US telecoms market. It has been credited with encouraging Comcast and Time Warner Cable to offer their own customers speed boosts without higher prices.
However, Fiber’s roll-out involved Google buying infrastructure built by companies that had collapsed as well as laying its own fibre optic cables – giving it full control of the service. By contrast, one expert said running a mobile virtual network, which is dependent on rivals’ equipment – might limit Project Fi’s impact.
"The example of MVNOs in the US and elsewhere suggests that it’s hard for their operators to dramatically change the industry because of their nature," said Ian Fogg from the IHS Technology consultancy.
"But the past isn’t always a guide to the future. "No-one would have thought that a handset manufacturer could transform the mobile industry by teaming up with one network – but that’s what happened with Apple and AT&T when the iPhone launched.
"And Google itself has repeatedly shown that it is capable of changing the direction of an industry by entering it."