Google Reportedly Building A Super-Secret Wireless Network

The system uses the more reliable licensed spectrum, but on a frequency unused by existing consumer devices.

The WSJ is pointing out an interesting application submitted to the FCC by Google last week. It appears the Internet company is attempting to build a huge Wi-Fi network across its Mountain View campus, using frequencies unused by consumer devices. Google being a tech company, and tech companies being mind-numbingly secretive, its lawyers attempted to redact part of the form, their argument being this. "The information for which confidential treatment is sought concerns the highly competitive consumer electronics market."

But uncover some more of the details and the mystery deepens. This "experimental radio service," as Form FCC 422 reads, uses wireless frequencies that are part of the licensed spectrum controlled by Clearwire Corp, and are not compatible with pretty much all of the consumer mobile devices (although these frequencies are being used for networks in China, Brazil and Japan, meaning there will eventually be compatible devices.)

What Google does say is that the experimental network will be first deployed in a building that houses the Google Fiber team. But is this just an in-house network for its campus, or is it another one of Google's moon shot moves, as Larry Page likes to put it? Is Google's aim a Wi-Fi service for its Fiber customers, who have been enjoying super-fast broadband in Kansas City since November last year? Your thoughts in the comments, please.

[Image by Flickr user heiwa4126]

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  • kafantaris

     This is what Steve Jobs wanted to do five years ago. Tim Cook could have done it, but decided to pay a huge dividend instead -- to please Wall Street.
    Thank God Google is picking up the ball.
    This is a most significant communications development. Indeed, the FCC should be right there helping Google along the way since a wireless network will propel our nation way ahead of others.  
    Should AT&T and Verizon be worried?  You betcha.
    But the rest of us should rejoice.  
    Cell companies have been shamelessly sucking the life out of our economy for years.