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Google plans to offer subsidised WiFi kit to businesses

Initiative could launch around the globe this summer
Thu May 22 2014, 11:16
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GOOGLE PLANS TO OFFER subsidised WiFi kit to small and medium sized businesses, as it looks to up its enterprise game.

That's according to a report at The Information (paywalled), which claims that Google Access - the group that runs Google's fiber network in the US - is planning to offer heavily discounted WiFi equipment to businesses, including "commercial-grade WiFi access equipment" and web-based software for businesses to manage their networks.

Google reportedly is targeting firms like restaurants, gyms and doctors offices, looking to go after places where customers likely will want access to the internet both in the US and around the globe.

The WiFi offering will use technology called Hotspot 2.0, which will allow users to connect to a WiFi network after logging into it just once. It has been speculated that this might require users to login to their Google accounts, which will enable the firm to target users with ads.

While specific pricing details have not been mentioned, this will, as well as seeing Google make inroads in the enterprise market, also tie in with the firm's mission to provide internet access to the entire world.

If the report is to be believed, Google could unveil this scheme "this summer". The firm has yet to address the speculation, but we have asked it to comment.

This move follows Google's partnership with the international coffee shop chain Starbucks, where the firm offers free WiFi connectivity at thousands of locations. µ


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