Google has confirmed plans to enter the wireless carrier industry, but says such aspirations will only take place on a small scale.
In a speech at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, Senior Vice President at Google and overseer of app development Sundar Pichai confirmed Google’s plans, but said the core point of the project is to break down barriers to connectivity.
“There are four billion people in the world that don’t have access to connectivity,” Pichai said, according to The Verge’s live blog. “We want to do better with this. At Google we’re taking the same approach to connectivity as our other projects.”
Google has been working on connectivity and wireless access projects for some time. There are three main prongs to the Mountain View, CA-based firm’s approach, the first of which is Google Fiber.
Google Fiber is an ultra-fast broadband service which is slowly creeping across the United States. Offering up to one gigabit in upload and download speed, the service was originally launched in 2013 but the amount of work and investment it takes to lay down appropriate cables has meant expansion is slow — and is currently only three cities, with another four undergoing construction.
Secondly, Google’s Project Loon — which began four years ago as an experiment — may have seemed ludicrous at the time, but has borne fruit. Project Loon develops balloons that once released in the sky act as floating cell towers, giving Internet access to urban areas. Helium balloons that circle the globe on stratospheric winds carry signals to households up to 20km below. The project has expanded following initial trials above Christchurch in New Zealand in 2013.
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