Google, Facebook Test Separate Potentially Game-Changing Broadband Technologies
Two of the biggest power players in the history of tech -- search giant Google and social media king Facebook -- are separately testing wireless broadband projects that are aimed at boosting fixed line networks. And these projects from these titans have the potential of disrupting the current wireless industry.
According to a report by Re/code, Google is planning to make the most out of its Fiber network by connecting mobile network towers to current lines in order to deliver wireless broadband connectivity directly to customers’ homes. As explained by executive Craig Barratt of Google, the tech giant is currently exploring various forms of wireless technology, trying to find the broadband access solution without racking up costs in setting up fixed lines directly into homes, buildings, and other structures. Google is hoping to transition this project into a real business by continuing to develop and deliver wireless network services. Barratt has stated that the company has the capability to expand the technology to urban areas where Fiber is already made available, or in locations where Google has announced plans to set up fixed lines.
As for Facebook, it has been reported by the Mercury News that the social media giant is testing Terragraph, a piece of technology that aims to enhance Wi-Fi capacity especially in highly populated locations. So far, the technology has only been tested on the company’s headquarters located in the city of Menlo Park in California, and makes full use of small metal boxes that are attached to current FiOS lines. What these boxes do is send data signals wirelessly to each other in order to further boost Wi-Fi connectivity. This service is set to be tested further in the downtown section of the city of San Jose in the Golden State some time before the end of this year. To date, the technology is only made available outdoors, but it could eventually be enhanced for indoor application. Facebook is looking to expand Terragraph to certain locations where users do not always enjoy reliable wireless access to the Internet.
Most major wireless carriers do not see Wi-Fi as a great threat to their dominance due to the fact that Wi-Fi networks just are not that omnipresent, not to mention able to deliver seamless connectivity to mobile users. Moreover, Google has not yet made it clear if it was planning to build a wireless service on fixed lines that would deliver far more reliable mobile connectivity. While Facebook does not seem to be looking to launch a countrywide network, Google does sure seem to be planning bigger things. This is where mobile service providers may want to watch out. Google has a lot of catching up to do, but one can never underestimate this player.