Google announced this week that it’s partnering with mobile carriers by providing new software platforms to help them build out their cellular networks. It’s a move that makes a lot of sense: after all, Google builds a lot of internet products, so it probably knows a thing or two about building a good network.
India’s Bharti Airtel and South Korea’s SK Telecom are the first two carriers to sign up to use Google’s new network platform. Google claims that its platform will allow carriers to more easily roll out new features, reduce costs, and “adapt to new services and traffic patterns,” all of which sound like good things for a cellular provider.
It’s unclear whether Google is charging for the service or not, but the company has its own stakes in the game beyond helping carriers out of the goodness of its heart (and maybe money). Customers with fast, reliable internet are customers who can more fully take advantage of Google’s suite of products. So it’s in the company’s best interest to help make sure that as many devices can get online as possible.