& cplSiteName &

Google, Starbucks Start AT&T Router Swap

Sarah Thomas
8/27/2013
100%
0%

Along with $11,000 Clover coffee machines, Starbucks is swapping out all its old routers as part of its deal to switch from AT&T's WiFi to Google.

Starbucks announced earlier this month that it would be ending its five-year relationship with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) to bring in WiFi service from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). Spokespeople for the coffeehouse and software giant confirm to Light Reading that they will be installing new routers to replace all the old as they roll out "the faster WiFi with Google." (See Is Google the New WiFi of Coffee Snobs?)

"However, like with many of our vendor agreements, we are not disclosing the router vendor," Starbuck's spokeswoman adds, echoing Google's sentiments.

The companies also haven't said whether the new WiFi routers will include the zippier 802.11ac connectivity, capable of supporting speeds up to 1 Gbit/s.

AT&T has more than 32,000 WiFi hotspots deployed across the US, and it works with a number of router vendors on the deployments. Losing Starbucks as a customer knocks off 7,000 of those, but it's also a blow to its router partners.

While Google wouldn't reveal its router partners, it is worth noting that, as of March 31, the software giant was a 5 percent shareholder in Ruckus Wireless Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) via its acquisition of Motorola. Google closed on the sale of Motorola Home, which includes its cable TV and Internet devices, to Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) in April, so it's unclear whether Google is still holding on to any stake in the WiFi vendor. If it is, that could have some influence on its choices. (See Arris Secures Motorola Home.)

Curious minds will be able to find out soon enough. Google and Starbucks are beginning their upgrade this month and expect the router overhaul to take 18 months to reach 7,000 of its locations across the US.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(36)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
sarahwallace
50%
50%
sarahwallace,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/29/2013 | 12:42:28 PM
Re: switchover
I do believe Starbucks is doing a full switchover, will be interesting to see how it plays out and if users even notice a difference...
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
8/28/2013 | 2:59:01 PM
Re: Cisco it is!
Great work, Alex! I meant that Cisco was for AT&T's deployment. It's the one being replaced with Aruba. Seems like a big boon for them. 
alexboone40
50%
50%
alexboone40,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/28/2013 | 2:16:09 PM
Re: Cisco it is!
Nope -- not Cisco.  That must be the legacy stuff that's getting upgraded.   Aruba Networks was asked about this during their wall st call last week:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1652922-aruba-networks-management-discusses-q4-2013-results-earnings-call-transcript?source=yahoo
Sanjiv R. Wadhwani - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division
Starbucks is refreshing its Wi-Fi infrastructure here, and checks are showing that Google is going to go with Aruba. I was wondering if you could comment on that and I'm wondering if you're seeing any opportunities of that kind in the U.S., and globally, with restaurants perhaps moving more towards Wi-Fi to enhance customer experience.
Dominic P. Orr - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
And regarding the specific North America, the Starbucks, Google deal, all I can tell you is Aruba products were provided, and to be provided, to replace the incumbent for the rollout of the Wi-Fi services in all the Starbucks in the United States. This is just starting and it is going to be a multi-quarter effort.
Sanjiv R. Wadhwani - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division
Got it, okay. Dom, any color on this Starbucks opportunity? Is it sort of as large as what you saw with 7-Eleven in Japan? Any color on sizing would be helpful.
Dominic P. Orr - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
Well, I really cannot comment on the size yet. I think you probably can count the number of stores as best as I can, and there will be much better coverage. All I can tell you is we have finished all the Canadian Starbucks stores, which is a small fraction of what is in North America, and we're starting on the U.S. portion just now.  

 
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2013 | 11:26:39 AM
Re: Cisco it is!
Hah, maybe someone is behind on their deployment or some kind of other backlog pushing the plan back.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
8/28/2013 | 10:08:57 AM
Cisco it is!
An enterprising community member (that's definitely getting a Light Reading t-shirt!) has discovered Cisco gear at 15 Starbucks locations with AT&T WiFi. That could be why they are not responding to me...
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
8/28/2013 | 10:07:57 AM
Re: Starbucks WiFi
I agree with you, Mark, and I think Google does too. It's admitted that even Android isn't really about mobile. It's about the eyeballs mobile can deliver for ads and search revenue. Fiber and WiFi is likely no different, though it does help to force other service providers to step up their game, which is a good thing. 

And, you're spot on that Google doesn't really have any advantages on the infrastructure side. It's just as hard for them: http://www.lightreading.com/author.asp?section_id=85&doc_id=703597
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2013 | 2:38:10 AM
Re: Starbucks WiFi
Though Google definitely has the money and the chops to move into the carrier space, it is one of the most capital intensive and low margin spaces to get into.  Even their fiber project, and I commend them in the effort to push gigabit services and applications as well as higher speeds to the consumer, I've yet to see the margins where I'd think they would make a major push into this space.  I mean part of my commendation to them is that they spend money exploring services other carriers would not.

Google, and this is just my opinion, will find that services is where their profit will be.  Let someone else be a cheap dumb pipe, force net neutrality and SLA's, then front end that with Google services and apps.

Like someone already mentioned, even Level 3 isn't in every market (this goes for ATT as well) so you know backhaul was already not going to be ubiquitous no matter what.

What I do see Google doing which not too many other companies have the luxury doing is trying new things no matter if it's profitable or not, which means many will probably not last, but perhaps one will be the new ... well Google.

I would particularly watch Google over the top video content, I mean it's already kinda here and development will be ongoing to stay parity with Apple and with Google global caches (Google's own CDN) being deployed throughout the internet, seems like the perfect way to a jump to the consumers using existing infrastructure.  It'll be easy to use their pet projects as test beds and roll something that's truly transformational for the rest.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
8/27/2013 | 5:39:16 PM
Re: Starbucks WiFi
Thanks for sharing, @jopocop, and good call out on the Arris Ruckus connection. That would seem to suggest it no longer has ties to Google. Too bad for Ruckus.
@jopocop
100%
0%
@jopocop,
User Rank: Moderator
8/27/2013 | 5:32:45 PM
Starbucks WiFi
It is an interesting mystery.  This article is from August 4, 

 

Telecom Ramblings:  Parsing the Starbucks/Google/Level 3 WiFi Deal

Last week there was a very interesting deal that I've been trying to get my head around. Starbucks has decided that its Wi-Fi hotspots needed an upgrade, and to get it the king of retail coffee is ditching AT&T and going for a service to be provided by none other than Google and Level 3.

Level 3 will be providing the connectivity and managing the hardware, while it appears that Google will be handling the actual interface with users/customers. They'll be starting the upgrade over the next month, with some 7,000 stores to get significantly higher speeds over an 18-month roll-out.

Leaving aside the star power here, this really is a harbinger of a deal that will reverberate throughout the industry. First of all, AT&T has been feeding Starbucks' Wi-Fi with T-1 pipes, which these days barely count as broadband. To boost that by around 10x as advertised and to keep up with further demand, Level 3 will surely be using a mix of direct fiber connectivity and other tools like Ethernet-over-Copper.

One thing you can be sure of is that they won't be bringing 7,000 sites on-net in 18 months all by themselves.  As extensive as it is, their network doesn't go everywhere, and they don't have enough hands or trucks to roll even if it did go everywhere. That means there's a big opportunity here for competitive operators of all stripes around the country to get a piece of this pie.

Another thing to note here is that Level 3 is surely looking at this as a foot in the door to more of the retail sector. Starbucks is generally near, well, everything else right? Once they've got fiber close, the neighboring businesses will know about it quickly enough when the signs go up.  And how many multi-location retail outfits are often conveniently right near a Starbucks in dozens of markets?  Hmm...

But what exactly does Google get out of this? The money involved will be minor to them, but it's about the customer relationships and the wresting of more eyeballs from a monopoly controlled last mile. In light of their expansion of Google Fiber to new markets, their long dalliance with WiFi overall, and the submarine cables they've been dabbling in, they're now unequivocally a network operator in addition to being a content provider.  And given the simmering disputes between content and the last mile, the more endpoints that are free of the incumbent the better for their long term opportunities.

In fact, I think that this deal will sooner or later (and probably sooner) resurrect the rumor that Google could buy Level 3.  And actually, such a thing is starting to actually make sense even to me — and I've made a hobby out of shooting down such rumors.

Now when one views the ARRIS Website for Products, they provide a line up of Ruckus Wireless Products: 

 

Ruckus ZoneDirector Wireless LAN Controller

 

 
kaop
50%
50%
kaop,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/27/2013 | 4:53:05 PM
Boingo Wireless

Boingo Wireless already offers Google sponsored free WiFi in selected shopping malls and airports.  The Boingo platform connect audiences to Google's advertising network. I wouldn't be surprised this Google deal involves some advertising incentive for Starbucks as well.

Page 1 / 4   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
Wednesday, August 17, 1:00PM EDT
Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services
Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (0) comments


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (0) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T Launches Network Functions on Demand

7|17|16   |   05:26   |   (0) comments


Roman Pacewicz, Senior Vice President, Offer Management & Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions, discusses the operator's launch of its Network Functions on Demand service.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
September 27, 2016, Philadelphia, PA
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/26/2016
Kevin Lo's Move to Facebook: Sign of Things to Come?
Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading, 7/20/2016
Verizon's Next With VNFs
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/21/2016
Facebook Gets Its Drone On
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/22/2016
Ericsson Ejects CEO Vestberg
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.