Google confirms MVNO rumors, plans for Android Pay

The last few weeks have been full of rumors of ambitious plans from Google: ideas we may have heard before, but picking up new layers of support, or looking to re-invent old systems with the intent of breathing new life into them. Google I/O may still be a couple months away, but today at MWC Android head Sundar Pichai offered some early insight into how some of these plans will materialize, confirming rumors about Google entering the MVNO market and talking a little about efforts for Android Pay.

Pichai paints Google’s MVNO aspirations as something much in line with its Nexus hardware experience: for Google to drive innovation, it couldn’t approach mobile devices from software alone, and so began the Nexus program. Now it wants to take the next step and give wireless connectivity the same Google spin. Details are still sparse, but one of the ways Google could hope to improve things would be to implement more graceful call routing, moving voice calls from cellular to WiFi without batting an eye.

As for Android Pay, Pichai confirms the project exists, and that it won’t outright replace Wallet. Instead, Android Pay will provide the framework on which the next generation of Wallet is built, a framework that can just as easily be taken advantage of by third-party apps interested in conducting mobile payments of their own.

Beyond those new services we also hear little about existing ones, like reorganizations coming to Google+ as the company separates its content streams from its social layer. Android One will continue to try driving prices down in developing nations, and more good stuff is coming from Android Wear – Pichai mentioned an unreleased model he’d been testing himself, but declined to show it off.

Source: The Verge

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!