Google has reportedly reached a deal with Sprint to sell wireless service later this year


Sprint Logo

It’s probably not the news many of you wanted to hear, but after a report yesterday claimed Google was in talks with both T-Mobile and Sprint on becoming the latest MVNO on the block, Bloomberg is now reporting that Google may have already struck a deal with Sprint on selling wireless service via their network. Sources didn’t go into detail on specifics, but apparently SoftBank president Masayoshi Son was the one who facilitated talks between the two companies.

SoftBank, as you know, announced a merger with Sprint back in 2012, where it was later made official in July of the following year. Operating as an MVNO, Google would be buying Sprint’s network capacity at wholesale, in turn selling it directly to consumers sometime later this year. But why is Google just now getting into the wireless market? That part is still a little unclear, but it seems it could be yet another way for Google to get even more people online and viewing their mobile ads.

Let’s hope their wireless plans are low enough that — even with the prospect of running on Sprint’s network — those on a budget simply can’t resist. No word on what Google’s plans are with T-Mobile, but hopefully it wont be too much longer before everything is official.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. That is awkward considering the Google Nexus 6 doesn’t even work right on Sprint.

    1. Mine is working perfectly fine zero issues

      1. Must be one if the lucky few. Last I heard, the majority were having serious issues with SMS.

        1. Most phones have major system issues on sprint

        2. Me and my friend bought a nexus 6 at the Sprint store in November at the same time. First two in the store to get one and both work fine. It comes with 0 carrier bloat unlike T-Mobile and At&t, no carrier branding and can hot swap Sims to another network on a dime. These SMS issues have something to do with the way Sprint hands of LTE and on appears to be in Samung equipment markets.

          1. T-mobile has bloat, AT&T does, but it can all be removed. That only leaves a few BS ringtones and boot animation that can be removed with root. No biggie.

          2. The only reason Sprints doesn’t download their bloat is because Sprint is so pathetic they couldn’t even make their Sprint Zone app compatible with the nexus. Also, I bought mine from Sprint and it wouldn’t take an AT&T sim until I factory reset it.

          3. Mine worked right out of the box. I have a sim card for T-Mobile and A&t and there was no problem right out of the box. The reason you had to factory reset it is because you have to go into settings and trigger it with global mode. Even then it takes like 2 mins to notice and swap. The Nexus 6 does not swap sims as fast as the Nexus 5 but at least you don’t have to restart your phone for it to take effect like the Nexus 5 did either.

          4. Also you don’t get it. Sprint does not want there Sprint zone app on it. Its a freaking Nexus and they know that. They have decent prices, they don’t brand there devices, they get updates out faster than any other carrier especially on the galaxy series. The only thing they are guilty of is taking way to long to update there network but people like you tend to overlook the good they don’t when your internet won’t work because thats the most important part to you. I used to be the same way and while Sprint is still the slowest network in my city by a long shot they are the best in call quality and reception next to Verizon. Only T-Mobile sucks at calls. Hit the boondocks and you will see what I mean

  2. Google has money and impulsiveness to throw money at venture like many of their pet projects. If cell carrier has problem to complete, provide good service at resonable price to customers than how the heck search company will do it right in this domain !!!.

  3. There better be a T-Mobile deal around the corner. )

    1. Or else what? You are going to smash your phone with a hammer or slap yourself till your face hurts?

      1. Or else Google Wireless will be dead before it gets off the ground. Sprint will be in last place very soon, and for a good reason.

  4. I look forward to seeing this pan out.

  5. They should get a deal to offer MVNO on all major carriers… Then people would jump

  6. Big Google fan, refuse to get in bed with Sprint. At the end of the day, it is still Sprint on the backend even ig Google’s name is on the front end.

    1. True, but here’s to hoping they made some sort of deal where Google will help build towers out and upgrade LTE. Then you have a win win situation.

  7. Since nexus 6 has all the antennas already, what if Google offered a hybrid upgrade plan for tmobile/Sprint the first cdma and gsm phone service, that network could possibly be #1 in service, probably would require a 2nd SIM though unless it used a special one or something

  8. Nooooo! Not Sprint! T-Mobile!

    1. Don’t worry Jason, they’re not gonna give you a better deal than your $30 plan.

    2. Sprint is rolling out 800Mhz band now that significantly improves coverage and building penetration, though won’t complete til end of year. Tmobile doesn’t have a lower band yet. Sprint also far far better with interstate LTE coverage and they’ve cut deals with rural LTE partners. If Google cuts a deal with both, you get the best of both.

      1. Ugh!! Tmo needs to get them some of that lower spectrum.

      2. T-Mobile is already deploying 700Mhz even lower than Sprint her in SATX.

    3. Considering I just pulled a 17Mbps speedtest on my Sprint phone, and T-Mobile doesn’t even have 3G here, I’m going to have to respectfully differ on this thought!

      1. Your one of the few people. When I was on Sprint 6 months ago I would pulling 200 to 300 kbps. Just atrocious.

        1. Yes because coverage is different everywhere.. Check your carrier coverage before you sign up with anyone and you won’t have issues.

          1. Mostly true – except Sprint’s coverage maps are blatant lies. In the DFW area (one of the initial LTE markets), it shows turbo spark speeds available in my neighborhood. My phone could never get an LTE signal better than -113dBm.

            After multiple escalations with Sprint (with all customer service telling me – you should have excellent coverage), their network support team finally got on the phone. And told me that the maps were showing what the network was going to be when the tower upgrades were completed – not current status!! WTH!! Oh, and no ETA for when those upgrades would be complete – they were “in progress” for about a year before this.

            As a 12+ year Sprint (Sero) customer, I hate to admit this – but I should have moved to T-Mo a long time ago. I get better coverage, at less than half the (discounted) price with T-mo now.

          2. yeah, just don’t ever travel outside of city limits and you’re golden with TMobile

          3. That’s what I was told, but even with all the travel that I do, I’ve had pretty decent coverage even in rural areas (between cities). Sure, I don’t get LTE speeds in those areas, but 3g is fine. Even if my speeds drop to 2g for an hour or so till I drive out of that area, I’ll live :)

            With Sprint, I could go to a mall in the middle of DFW area and have zero voice/data coverage.

            T-Mo coverage is not comparable to ATT or VZ – nope. But compared to the service I got with Sprint, I have no regrets (yet).
            Free Unlimited (low speed) data when outside the US, free texting to international numbers when in the US – all included!

  9. Why should I throw more money towards Google arcs? What the would offer on a failed network, that could make it so unique?

    1. I have service with both Sprint and VZW, I don`t see much different between their network. Sometime Sprint better and sometime VZW.

  10. Damn. Had it been on Sprint *and* T-Mobile’s networks, and they offered full speed 4G speeds (well as much as you can get with those networks), and been a little cheaper than what I’m paying with T-Mobile, I’d so have switched.

    Taking this into consideration, I’ll stay with T-Mobile. Thanks anyway Goog.

    1. It might still be both combined. There are other MVNOs who use both, like Ting.

      1. Don’t forget Straight Talk uses all 4 major carriers.

  11. Crash and burn

    1. By Basshunter? Yea, I like that song too.

  12. I already have Ting, which is a Sprint mvno. I can’t imagine Google doing better than my current $30/mo bill. Though, cheap/free nexus devices could tempt me.

    1. With TIng you are limited to certain devices. You can forget about most new devices on their network. Maybe Google can eliminate this.

      1. Actually you’re wrong, Ting already announced this dual provider MVNO combining Spring and T-Mobile service. These types of deal were facilitated by the wireless changes going into effect Q1 of this year. Everything is changing.

    2. They’re likely adopting a similar model and/or try to slip in unlimited data. Don’t forget, Ting just announced this very combined provider service utilizing T-Mobile starting in February.

  13. I will stay with T-Mobile for now.

  14. Good. Tmo needs their coverage. =.P
    I don’t want people bogging down the network.
    *talks as if I know how an MVNO works*

  15. Conspiracy theorist here. Isn’t it strange that Google comes calling to get MVNO with Sprint and T-Mobile when the two were rumored to merge? Marriage of CDMA and GSM aside, Google intentions are slowly coming to light. Today, little peanuts. Tomorrow, telecommunications dominance lol

    1. Sprint gave up on their attempt to buy T-Mo months ago.

      1. Exactly! That’s what @LeeArtis:disqus is getting at. What’s Google’s endgame in this? Are they going to offer so much money for both carriers that they can’t refuse? Is that why Sprint backed out of the T-Mobile takeover? What exactly is Google up to? They are all about everyone having access to internet at a low to no cost. Are they working on that as well for cell phones? I immediately thought the same thing!

  16. Totally Unrelated: Just got another OnePlus invite today if anyone is interested PM me and I can get you the code.

  17. Sprint? Sprint was terribad when I was with them.

    1. They are improving now, rolling out 800Mhz is improving coverage/penetration, 2500LTE gets up to 60Mbps. But only 1/3 of their footprint so far, not to complete til end of this year.

  18. OBVIOUSLY this is the reason why they’re no longer doing GPE….once they are an MVNO they’ll be in control of what’s on the phone at the carrier level…Android Silver anyone???

  19. Forget all this… Where is my Google Fiber in Indianapolis!!!

  20. Simply a bad business choice on Google’s part. I don’t like Sprint and don’t trust Softbank. If they would have used T-Mobile I would’ve considered switching. Not now. T-Mobile will continue to have my support. I think T-Mobile can compete with whatever Google throws at them. This move actually makes me think it might be the end of my Google loyalty.

    1. Google is using T-Mobile also

  21. Sprint is horrible.

  22. Of all the carriers, Sprint?

    Great, now I won’t even be able to consider using it. Sprint coverage is awful.

  23. Very disappointing. Considering the fact that I pay 50 cents a month the for a truly unlimited everything line on Sprint, and still choose to pay AT&T to use their service, I think that illustrates just how terrible Sprint’s network is.

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