Gary Price noticed and notified us that Google’s Sumit Agarwal is speaking at an MVNO conference. MVNO stands for mobile virtual network operator. Bankrupt (and likely soon to close) Amp’d Mobile is one example; Helio (“don’t call us a phone company”) is another. Yahoo is reportedly also going to be at the conference.
Given all the speculation regarding Google’s plans to bid for wireless spectrum and rumors swirling around the notion of a “GPhone,” one might be tempted to see Google’s presence at the show as evidence that the company intends to launch an MVNO of its own.
However, according to Google, the company is there exclusively to discuss mobile search and its view of mobile with partners and potential partners. Logically, also, it makes more sense for Google to work with other MVNOs than to become one.
There’s perhaps also a more mundane reason for Google’s participation: conference organizers know that Google on the podium helps sell tickets.