We’ve heard from a good source in the mobile industry that Google may be preparing to launch its own branded mobile network in the UK in the next few weeks. If our source is accurate, Google will become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) via a deal with UK mobile phone company O2.
We’re hearing that there will be no physical stores for the service, and that signups and customer service will be provided exclusively via a website. A number of Nokia handsets will be offered, all pre-loaded with Google mobile software.
MVNOs typically have a difficult time building a customer base. Virgin Mobile, however, has been a standout exception in the UK. They have over 4 million subscribers and have been around since 1999. In the U.S., Helio is one of the better known MVNOs.
This is highly speculative at this point and is based on a single source. A lot of Google mobile phone rumors have turned out to be false.