Light Reading
Work is underway on the Google WiFi network in Mountain View, stage one for the firm's public access plans

Google's WiFi Mountain

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
12/15/2005
50%
50%

Search engine titan Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has begun installation of its much-heralded free wireless LAN network in the company's home base of Mountain View, Calif.

"They started putting radios in about a week and a half ago," a source tells Unstrung.

Google wouldn't comment directly on its rollout schedule in Mountain View, but a spokeswoman says that it received approval for its free WiFi plan from the city council last month, wants to start installing equipment as soon as possible, and is intending to complete the deployment by June 2006.

On the face of it, the network is a fairly straightforward -- albeit large -- metro-mesh deployment. Google and its partners will install hundreds of 802.11 radios around the 12 square miles of the Northern California town and offer free WiFi connections -- rate-limited to 300 kbit/s -- to its 72,000 residents.

But that deployment is only a start. Mountain View will actually be a proving ground for the new technologies and approaches that Google is bringing to the public access WiFi market -- a showcase that could help it win larger prizes like the deal to roll out a similar network in San Francisco.

The location-aware ad delivery system that Google is expected to run on this network is already the subject of much discussion. This software, which "knows" where a user is at any given time, will allow businesses to target ads with a greater degree of geographical accuracy then ever before. (See Google's Ad-Mad Network .)

For instance, someone searching for "sushi" while surfing on the Mountain View WLAN network could see ads returned from a raw fish joint just a couple of blocks away.

This means that Google can keep its ad rates up even when competing in what is typically perceived as the low-margin WiFi hotspot market. It is in Google's interest to innovate on ads, since almost all of Google's $3.2 billion in revenue last year derived from sales of its search-based ad sales, according to analysts. Targeting ads to the user's location adds another dimension to that model.

And just because the firm is only offering a rate-limited service for now doesn't mean that it couldn't offer a premium higher-speed access service in the future. Unstrung has been told that the firm is looking at a number of premium options.

The next big step for Google is San Francisco, which currently has an RFP out for its own citywide 802.11 access network. Google is working with partners like integrator Wireless Facilities Inc. (WFI) (Nasdaq: WFII) and mesh hardware provider Tropos Networks on these projects.

The firm has also been linked with startup Feeva Inc., which has developed technology "to identify, target, and deliver relevant and useful information to the user, in collaboration with online media, content, advertising, and search services," over wireless broadband links, such as WiFi hotspots. (See Google's Free-Time Secure WiFi.) But Feeva is trying to stay in something like stealth mode and has largely stopped talking publicly about its links with Google. So all that can be said for sure right now is that Google has purchased the Union Square, San Francisco, hotspot that Feeva used to run.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Innovating Access Technology With G.fast

10|1|14   |   3.42   |   (0) comments


Exploring the potential of G.fast technology from the point of view of the Broadband Forum, Huawei – and an end-user.
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (11) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (1) comment


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Comcast Turns Off Streampix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed