One of the problems with American cellular service is that there are basically four options, and they all kind of stink. T-Mobile has an aging network, Sprint is in transition as it’s acquired by Softbank, Verizon has a great network but is basically evil, and AT&T is…well, ask any iPhone user what they were like before they had to actually compete for the Apple fan’s dollar. Now Google wants to widen the scope by at least one provider more.
The idea is that they team up with Dish Network, which owns a bunch of wireless spectrum it’s mostly just sitting on, and that presumably Google does what it usually does, which is undercut the competition on price to sell you more stuff for your incredibly cheap Nexus 4.
We are still, however, in the “coy denial” phase of this relationship:
Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen declined to comment on any involvement with Google to the WSJ, but he did mention his company is in talks to partner up with others “who would like to be in the industry” and aren’t currently. Ergen added it would be easier to partner with a company that already has the wireless infrastructure in place in order to transmit all of that data. Google certainly fits the bill.
Dish wants to be in the Google business, and Google presumably wants to be in the Dish business to some degree. The main problem this union might have is that Google owns a cellular phone company, an app store, and if this comes together, a network. That might be a little too much “vertical integration” for federal authorities to stomach.