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Google mobile network will only work with Nexus 6

Google’s new mobile network service may only work with the Nexus 6 to start with.

Sundar Pichai proved the rumours to be true at MWC 2015 when he revealed that Google was indeed building its own mobile network in the US. There’s just one catch though – it’ll only work with one kind of phone.

That’s the case according to a new Wall Street Journal report, at least, which names Google’s flagship Nexus 6 phone as that device.

The service, which will switch between US Wi-Fi and cellular networks as needed, is expected to launch in March. However, there’ll be an extremely limited pool of users to start with.

This admittedly fits with Pichai’s claim that the service would be small scale to begin with, but the limited scope of this early phase is still a little surprising.

According to two people familiar with the matter, Google’s previous flagship phone, the Nexus 5, won’t be compatible with the new network. More importantly, nor will the vast majority of phones running on Google’s own Android OS.

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Apparently, in order to make this clever selective network work, Google needs “close coordination between smartphone hardware and software.” It can only get that from one of its own devices, and only the very latest of those meets the required specification.

As for other advanced Android phones, well, we know how manufacturers and network providers like to meddle with Android software.

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