In an event at Mobile World Congress this morning, Google confirmed a whole host of different rumors about the company. The first announcement from the press conference was about a third way that Google will work to improve global connectivity. Google has used Google Fiber in cities to improve Internet speeds, and has used Project Loon, balloons that function as portable cell towers, to expand coverage in rural areas. The third phase of its plan is Project Titan.
Project Titan comes after Google purchased drone manufacturer, Titan, in 2014. Project Titan uses a lightweight, solar-powered drone to hover in the stratosphere and beaming internet down in the same way as Project Loon. Unlike balloons, however, Google’s drones can be controlled to move to different areas depending on circumstances. For example, if the service goes down in an area due to a natural disaster, Google can send Project Titan drones to provide Internet service in the aftermath, creating a tool that could prove to be invaluable.
Sundar Pichai, who was leading the event, also confirmed that a Google MVNO is coming. Details were light, but Pichai says that the project will be on the scale of the Nexus project. It even seems as though the project will be optimal for Nexus users, as Google will then control the hardware, software and connectivity in order to provide the peak experience. While information about lower prices weren’t confirmed, Pichai said that the MVNO will feature new innovations, such as calls automatically reconnecting after they drop.
Pichai confirmed that Google is working and partnering with other carriers for the project.
Android Pay was also brought up and Pichai confirmed that it does exist and is an API layer that will be coming to Android later this year. The API allows any service to plug in, such as Google Wallet and other mobile payment systems. The only other confirmed fact about Android Pay is that it will feature NFC components for tap and pay.
As it looks, Google has some big plans in store for the next year. Now that it’s been confirmed, it’ll be interesting to see the way that Google tackles the project of becoming an MVNO. Android Pay is also bound to be an exciting addition to the platform. We’re sure to hear more in rumors and Google will likely provide an update on these projects at Google I/O in May.