Photograph by Philippe Huguen - AFP/Getty Images
By Benjamin Snyder
March 6, 2015

Google’s ambitious mobile network that will use a combination of cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots will reportedly only work with one of the company’s own smartphones.

Customers itching to try Google’s new hybrid wireless service will have to use the Nexus 6 Android smartphone developed by Google and Motorola, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Customers with an Apple iPhone or other Android device will not be able to use the service.

Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai this week confirmed rumors about Google’s entry into the wireless services market. Pichai said Google will be working alongside a wireless carrier to test the concept of a network that lets users seamlessly switch between cell towers and open Wi-Fi hotspots.

“We are creating a backbone so we can provide connectivity,” said Pichai on Monday. “We will be working with carriers around the world so they can provide services over our backbone.”

The Journal says Google’s the wireless service could come as soon as the end of March, but delays are possible. It isn’t clear if Google is planning to install new Wi-Fi hotspots in markets where the service is available in order to increase customers’ connectivity options.

Google has already been providing high-speed terrestrial Internet connections in several markets across the U.S. via its Google Fiber program. Google Fiber — along with Google’s new wireless service, codenamed “Project Nova” — could be a move on Google’s part to get existing carriers to innovate more quickly.


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