Google Preparing Mobile Virtual Network

google hangouts comboGoogle is reportedly taking steps towards launching its own phone network in the US, and has contacted both Sprint and T-Mobile in order to establish a mobile virtual network that will exist on their infrastructure.

The network, codenamed Nova in internal communications, would use Google Hangouts as the backbone of any contracts, enabling the company to offer data-only plans that incorporated VOIP services.

The news, first reported in the Wall Street Journal, doesnt confirm what network or networks the plan would utilise. Sprint uses CDMA while T-Mobile uses GSM, and although these networks are interoperable on 4G, getting them to co-operate on 3G is trickier.

If the MVNO proves successful, it could prove a major source of revenue for both Sprint and T-Mobile, and justify investments they have made in improving their coverage. While most MVNOs tend to offer contract-free plans, it is not yet clear whether Google would adopt this approach.