Google is never afraid of exploring new avenues and experimenting with new products and services. For instance, products and services like Google glass, Google voice, etc are of great utility although they may create few regulatory issues as well. However, these minor hiccups never prevented Google form exploring new markets and introducing newer products and services.
The latest to add to this list of Google is the proposed cloud based WiFi network. This way Google would create its own Internet infrastructure that can have wide ranging ramifications for the global ICT and telecom industry. For a company like Google, which can grow only if users have access to easy, fast and cheap web connections, one of the biggest problems is the poor internet infrastructure across the world. If successful, Google can create nation-wide or even global Wi-Fi network.
Google has partnered with Ruckus Wireless to create a cloud-based WiFi network for small and medium size companies. The network can launch as early as “this summer”. Google and Ruckus are building a Wi-Fi infrastructure that will allow any small installation – like a pizza shop or a dentist’s office – to join the network and connect to hundreds or even hundreds of thousands other small businesses to offer people a universal Wi-Fi zone. The businesses will have to buy their own Wi-Fi gear – probably made by Ruckus – and bandwidth to connect to the Google’s network. But once they are connected, the Wi-Fi access on their network would be remotely controlled by Google’s cloud service.
While initially, the bandwidth for Google’s Wi-Fi network will be supplied by businesses, it is possible that in future Google may merge the network with a few technologies it is testing. Google is working on enabling internet access in remote areas through high-altitude balloons and drones. If successfully, the company may beam bandwidth for its Wi-Fi network through strategically placed balloons or drones.
As far as India is concerned, Google will face privacy issues and data protection compliance requirements (PDF). Further, regulatory issues of cloud computing, virtualisation, encryption, etc would also pose some trouble for Google in India. However, nothing would be more challenging than tackling the tricky issues of conflict of laws in cyberspace that are vexing Google in India and other jurisdictions as on date.