Google Inc. is getting into the wireless business after reaching an agreement to use
Masayoshi Son, the president of SoftBank Corp. who bought Sprint in 2013, was integral in facilitating the talks between Sprint and Google, said another person, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private. Google will pay for capacity on Sprint's network and then sell the service to its own customers. The financial terms are similar to those of other mobile virtual network operators, and Google may start its service as soon as this year, the person said.
Offering wireless service would require Google to manage hardware sales to consumers and compete with the carriers that currently sell and promote Google's Android-based mobile phones. It wouldn't be the first time Google has competed with those service providers — the company has already introduced broadband Internet service in a handful of U.S. cities and has said it's looking to expand further. Google also operates Wi-Fi hot spots in some regions.
The deal between Sprint and Google was reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. The newspaper also said Google has signed a deal with T-Mobile US Inc.
Selling wireless service could enable the Web giant to gain more mobile-device users to help sell mobile ads.