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Could Android One also include subsidizing cell plans?

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Could Android One also include subsidizing cell plans?
There were quite a lot of big announcements from Google this week, but one of the biggest was the Android One initiative. Android One was put forward as a program where Google would work with hardware manufacturers to help bring high-quality, low-cost Android phones to emerging markets around the world. But, there was another bit of the plan that Google glazed over that could be even more important. Sundar Pichai didn't go into depth, but he implied that the Android One initiative would go beyond hardware, saying, "We are working with carriers to provide affordable connectivity packages for these devices." 

This is potentially huge, possibly even bigger than the hardware side of the plan. The cost of mobile hardware is dropping to the point where there are affordable options for most users. The issue now is in the service plans. Google has already shown that it is working on ways to bring connectivity to more remote regions by building a network of satellites, but that will be a long process, and Google wants to get people connected as fast as possible, which means working with existing carriers. 

Monthly cell plans in emerging markets are nowhere near as expensive as here in the U.S., but can still be a burden considering that there are many areas where the average income is less than $1,000 per year. It is unclear if Google would end up subsidizing plans, but carriers will want to get paid somehow, so we'll have to keep an eye on this. 

(Quote found around the 0:45 mark in the video below.)

source: BGR

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posted on 28 Jun 2014, 14:17 6

1. wilsong17 (unregistered)

How about a cheap unlimited Internet plan I hardly call any one

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 15:33 2

4. Finalflash (Posts: 3527; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)

They should also just switch voice and messaging to internet alone (if they weren't greedy they would). A whole flippin band is usually dedicated to voice signals, usually the best most widespread/wall penetrating one too.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 18:56 1

6. datsyuk (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Jan 2012)

SMS and MMS need to go, it's pretty slow and if I have bad service MMS is a PAIN to send. They really need something universal to send messages so it'll work on every OS and you don't need anything third party.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 15:15 5

2. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

Google should buy or become their own carrier possibly.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 10:20 1

9. rallyguy (Posts: 620; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)

I believe they looked into it. There is a lot of red tape and the large carriers will do everything they can do keep that from happening.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 11:28 1

10. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3816; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

I've been saying this for years. While it might be awesome, Verizon & AT&T would fight tooth & nail to keep that from ever happening.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 14:44 4

12. rallyguy (Posts: 620; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)

I think our best hope is that they would buy T-Mobile. But that won't happen.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 18:28

13. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3816; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

I feel like you're my twin. Haha. I've been saying that for years too. I'm still hopeful that it will happen one day.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 15:15

3. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

Google should buy or become their own carrier possibly.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 15:42 1

5. naittosan (Posts: 234; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)

Why do people think thru should get something for nothing? If they think it cost too much do without.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 23:14 1

7. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)

@Michael Heller

About the carrier, it's very common in country like Indonesia, India, and any other developing country to create "slim/cheap" plan when selling new product.

Ex. When nokia first introduce Nokia asha (and also C3-00) in Indonesia, the CHEAPEST internet plan in Indonesia around US$5, and nokia coorporating with Indonesian carrier and ONLY ASK US$1/MONTH for those buy nokia asha (and also C3-00 at that time). This promo is only valid for 1 year, after that user back to US$5/month. and just to be clear, this cheap package come with less data package limit compared to US$5..... This is also what bb did with bb jakarta. when bb release the bb z3 in indonesia, they also have CHEAP internet package offer for 1 year.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 02:36

8. rahul.niks (Posts: 86; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)

It is simple in india, already happened too many times with every carrier by almost every manufacturer including nokia, Samsung, Sony, Micromax, karbonn, spice, etc. But by looks of Google, i think it will be different and a one of its kind. I hope it will surprise everyone here. if it will be 2G data which i don't require then it will be very disappointing, please google 3G or even LTE. I will welcome and buy one more phone for your noble initiative for regular updates.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 12:21

11. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

I hope Google operate their very own network in India, selling their Android One devices either free on a contract (like in the US) or selling them at super low subsidized prices with super cheap unlimited or capped 3G network. Imagine the amount of people that would flock to buy these phones at these prices. It will really help boost the smartphone market here.

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