Light Reading

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
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Beach Petroleum on eLTE & Mining

4|8|15   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


Network systems integrator Jeremy Hamlyn explains how Huawei's secure packet-based trunking communications system, eLTE, can help remote communities and companies in the mining, oil and gas sectors, deploy efficient communications networks that are perfect for video and data as well as voice.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
Can WiFi Calling Find Its Voice?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/13/2015
Senator Proposes New 'Title X' for Net Neutrality
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/13/2015
Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent in Merger Talks
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/14/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Cats with Phones
Steve's Phone Click Here
Steve Saunders's personal phone.