Google mobile virtual network operator a hoax?

Summary: Images that surfaced on Spanish forum ElOtroLado show a Google SIM card and an Android device connected to the network Google_Es, but further reports suggest that it may be a hoax.

Cellular-news reported that Google may be testing networks in Spain to launch its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on one of three networks they are testing in the country.

While there isn’t much in the way of corroborating evidence or official comment from Google at this stage, if these images are real it would appear as though Google staff have been issued Google branded SIMs that operate on a Google branded network.

The images and news comes from Spanish forum ElOtroLado, where members reported that the SIMs use Movistar, Orange, and Vodafone, even though the network name is “Google_Es,” which suggests an MVNO-type operation.

This comes after the news that internal testing for Google Voice started in Europe, and the ElOtroLado post asserts that these SIMs along with Nexus S smartphones constitute the Google Voice test in Spain.

PaidContent has since reported that the images are probably not authentic, citing a post on Xatak Andoid. According to PaidContent they were directed to the post by Google Europe after asking about the authenticity of the photographs.

Though not official comment from Google, it seems like an indirect denial of the rumour. Without official comment from Google it remains to be seen whether this is a hoax or a big move by the search giant.

Google SIM card
Google SIM card
Google Spain MVNO
Google Spain MVNO?

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Google mobile virtual network operator a hoax?