Whenever Google experiments in something, the results are oftentimes pretty awesome. Google Glass, self-driving cars and Google Fiber are all examples of something that started out as an experiment and are now some of the most exciting tech being developed in our nation. Now it seems Google may be experimenting in something that definitely needs a shot of innovation - wireless networks.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google had recently submitted an application to the FCC for a license for an "experimental radio service." The application covers the company's headquarters in California.
Now, this wouldn't be too exciting except for the fact that the application specifically states Google will be using radio frequencies that most devices in use today can't take advantage of. The frequencies come from licensed spectrum controlled by Clearwire Corp. This licensed spectrum is reportedly better than Wi-Fi when it comes to disseminating a signal across metropolitan areas.
So, who's going to be experimenting with this new wireless technology? The application states that the building currently housing the Google Fiber team will be the first place to be outfitted with the technology. The team there is already working to build the next generation land line network so it makes sense that they would be building the next generation wireless network as well.
Now, what could this mean for future Google Fiber projects? Analysts speaking to the Wall Street Journal suggests that Google could be rolling out a wireless service to its Google Fiber subscribers. Those who subscribe to the service would be able to tap into exclusive Wi-Fi throughout the city. Another theory is that Google's Motorola unit is building phones to take advantage of the new spectrum. Either way, Google is planning for the future of wireless, and it's kind of exciting.
Google already provides free Wi-Fi at its headquarters in California and New York. It's great for those who are in or around the building, but what about entire cities? There have been some efforts to provide Wi-Fi access across an entire city, but it's not exactly the best solution in getting Internet to everybody. Google's plans may involve using this new spectrum that's better suited for metropolitan environments to start offering wireless Internet to more people.
Of course, the company will have to make sure people have the hardware to take advantage of it first. That's an entirely different challenge in and of itself, but Google has proven in the past that it has the resources to dabble in such things. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.