When Google’s Sundar Pichai drew associations between it’s planned cellular service and the Nexus program, we didn’t quite expect him to mean it literally. But that might just be the case based on reports coming from sources close to the matter. According to them, that MVNO network will only work with Google‘s Nexus devices. In fact, it might even only work on the latest generations, starting with the Nexus 6 and leaving older devices to survive on their own with regular mobile carriers.
To some extent, this isn’t exactly shocking but still disappointing if true. There are probably some who have been eagerly awaiting to embrace Google’s definition of what a mobile carrier service should be like. Naturally, Google would want to have complete control over the service, and the only way it can really do that is if it uses its own devices, without much interference from OEMs and traditional carriers.
That is also exactly what might be needed considering what Google plans to do with the service. According to those sources, the service will dynamically switch between cellular networks, from T-Mobile for example, to Wi-Fi or back again depending on the location and the quality of service. To pull this off, Google will need hardware and software to play well together, and it is only able to do that on its Nexus device.
While reasonable, it is still somewhat disheartening to hear that even among the Nexus family, not all will be able to use the service. The Nexus 6 is so far the only one that is likely to be compatible. Even the Nexus 5, which is still hot as ever, especially considering how rare the Nexus 6 is, isn’t invited. That said, we do expect, or hope, that future devices will be supported.
Google doesn’t plan to go against mobile carriers with its MVNO plans. It just wants to showcase what it thinks is the best way, technologically speaking, to implement such a service, pretty much like how it sells Nexus devices as the standard Android OEMs should adhere to. Now it seems that, like the Nexus devices, it will be a very exclusive club as well.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal