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.

Google Reportedly Building A Super-Secret Wireless Network

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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My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.