There are rumors floating around on the web that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is working on a large-scale cloud Wi-Fi network for business. Google is reportedly working to use Wi-Fi gear from Ruckus Wireless to create a big Wi-Fi cloud network where small and medium-sized businesses can connect their Wi-Fi routers.
The rumor also suggest that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) could be planning to subsidize hardware and software to small and medium-sized retail businesses.
This was first reported by The Information citing a confidential document they have reviewed and a person briefed on the project. It also reported that Google could unveil the offering this summer.
Google apparently is planning on make the offering available to many businesses in the U.S. and the rest of the world. This includes restaurants, cafes, libraries, and any small business where people can go in, securely connect and then they can go from one business to the other while still connected to the same Google Wi-Fi network unaware that hotspot do the handoff from one place to the other or even from city to city, state to state. For the connected user, the whole thing looks like one big home or office wireless network.
Other sources think that Google will offer the service for free to businesses if they join Google’s public network and that the service will use Hotspot 2.0.
The idea that Google will offer one unified network using one vendor’s hardware/software gear may not be manageable for Google, instead, Google will probably build the network using one vendor that has the most compatibility support for many Wi-Fi routers out there, this will allow joining businesses to connect and manage their own Wi-Fi cloud connected routers. This means that Google may not actually go with Ruckus Wireless, there is also Cloud4Wi which seems to have a good compatibility support for other vendors Wi-Fi gear.
From a business and advertising perspective, this Wi-Fi cloud network could be huge for Google.