Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Networking Wireless Networking

Google Plans Wireless Networks In Emerging Markets 43

Posted by Soulskill
from the bridging-the-digital-divide dept.
kgeiger writes "The next billion customers have to come from somewhere. The Wall Street Journal today reports that Google will fund, deploy, and manage wireless networks in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. From the article: 'The Silicon Valley company is deep in the throes of a multipronged effort to fund, build and help run wireless networks in emerging markets such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, said people familiar with the strategy. The wireless networks would be available to dwellers outside of major cities where wired Internet connections aren't available and could be used to improve Internet speeds in urban centers, these people said.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Plans Wireless Networks In Emerging Markets

Comments Filter:
  • I wonder what kinds of things Google's customers will target at these people?

    • Re:Adverts (Score:5, Informative)

      by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday May 24, 2013 @04:14PM (#43816289)

      It sounds from TFA like Google plans to make money off these customers more directly, through subscription fees for Internet service.

      • It sounds from TFA like Google plans to make money off these customers more directly, through subscription fees for Internet service.

        Yes, of course. There are bucket loads of cash to be made from sub-Saharan Africans, what with all of their disposable income.

        My point is, connectivity is *not* Google primary business. Yes?

    • Exactly my thought. The profit margins for Google are never going to be higher than they are right now -- the next billion people aren't going to be able to afford the $150 jeans Google is showing me ads for... and the billion after that are going to be even poorer. When you're wondering where your next meal is coming from, you probably aren't going to spend a lot of time on Google+.

      The idea that Google is going to make money on subscription services is dubious. It's a business model (hello, AOL!) tha

      • by icebike (68054)

        The idea that Google is going to make money on subscription services is dubious.

        By wireless I assume they mean Cellular.

        Marketing Cellular to "sub-Saharan Africa" might work because The number of mobile phone users in sub-Saharan Africa rose by 44 per cent to 475 million [africareview.com], compared to just 12.3 million fixed line connections, representing the highest proportion of mobile versus fixed line connections in the world.

        By comparison, there are only 326 million subscribers in the US. [ctia.org]

        (There is little street level wired infrastructure there, and cellular is the big player. [gsma.com] (pdf). )

        So cellular pe

      • When you're wondering where your next meal is coming from, you probably aren't going to spend a lot of time on Google+.

        You are confusing cause and effect. Most of the third world is poor precisely because their people have little access to information. This facilitates corruption, and leads to price fixing and low productivity. Once poor people can blog about corrupt officials and law breaking garment factories, and Google for the wholesale price of corn in the closest big city, then they will not be so poor anymore. During the last decade, the spread of cell phones has done far more to alleviate poverty than all the bi

  • So, Google wanted their place that was free of government regulation to experiment and try new things out. It sounds like, in many ways, they have found it. They can get their feet wet and learn the ropes of wireless networks. Maybe in time, they'll come back to the US and play against the big boys.

    • I am not sure if I follow or agree.

      At lot of those places don't have the government structure, or regulations, of developed countries. o.k. But they do tend to regulate big centralized things that make money – like telecoms. i.e. it is hard to tax and regulate small farms and firms that work informally and on the barter system. It is easy to regulate a big outside firm with lots of fixed assets that does not use barter. (I am assuming cash payments for access, not just ad reveneu.)

      They might not be as

    • by kwerle (39371)

      Virtually everyone in the US who wants access to the internet has it. Huge numbers of them use google.

      Lots of people who want access to the internet access in Africa and the pacific rim and can't get it (I guess).

      Why would google not engage in those markets?

      Seems like this has more to do with getting more users and rolling out technology in places with little competition than anything else.

      • If I was living in sub-saharan Africa I'd use Yahoo just to spite them :) Fresh unconquered eyeballs + internet subscription money must be a real winner for Google, they cant wait to get in there
        • by kwerle (39371)

          It's not like yahoo and microsoft have never poked at the ISP space. Mostly using partners, but there have often been rumblings.

    • Maybe in time, they'll come back to the US and play against the big boys.

      Google is already building out WiFi in the US (NYC, accompanying Fiber at least in Austin, some others), and playing against the telecom big boys in rolling out Fiber in the first place.

      Their plans to expand to the developing world are following, rather than leading, their role in becoming an access provider in the US.

  • by satsuke (263225) on Friday May 24, 2013 @04:21PM (#43816343)

    Depending on _how_ deep they go into these countries, I think the larger issue will be simply getting backhaul into these areas, and working through the bureaucracy to get it done.

    Near as I can tell, some of these countries regulations are on the level of "I thought it up when you asked the question".

    They might have more success with setting up in-nation intranets for instruction and governance purposes (the society change that comes with instant communications, without necessarily, the buybuybuy aspects, at least initially or exclusively).

    • Depending on _how_ deep they go into these countries, I think the larger issue will be simply getting backhaul into these areas, and working through the bureaucracy to get it done.

      Near as I can tell, some of these countries regulations are on the level of "I thought it up when you asked the question".

      Well, Google is sitting on a pretty fat pile of cash, which usually is exactly the kind of thing you need to have handy to "comply" with "regulations" on the level of "I thought it up when you asked the questio

  • I live almost exactly 100 miles away from Chicago in rural Illinois, and I can't even get a cellphone signal at my home without going to the top of the nearest hill let alone wireless internet (our local electric utility said they were working on it 3 years ago). The assumption that the US is covered is BS.

    • I think what he means is that he can't use his $2.99 prepaid phone from walmart in his house. Now, he definitely could get satellite internet, and hook up a femtocell using AT&T, but, that isn't worth the cost to him. Of course, he probably could get a T1 run to his house as well, but the $600 outlay, and $250 per month again, isn't worth it to him.

      "I can't get" != "I don't the added expense of..."

    • I still don't think your an example of the problem they are claiming to address, which is of people not having practical access to the internet. Which is, while not completely unheard of, fairly rare in the US and fairly common in the developing world.

  • Google have a distinct advantage in emerging markets over Apple because Chinese manufacturers will sell Android devices at a price point that more people can afford. However, that cannot happen without first providing wireless access.

    The whole point of fibre in Kansas was to demonstrate that direct FTTP could be provided at a reasonable cost and challenge the existing players to provide a better product. This may be a similar tactic in Africa.

    Remember for Google, the end game is for you to use their service

  • When can we get these goodies in rural America?

1 Dog Pound = 16 oz. of Alpo

Working...