Google Station To Offer Free Hi-Speed WiFi in Malls & Cafes; Announces India-only YouTube Go!
Google’s interest in India seems to have become more pronounced since the launch of the free WiFi at railway stations initiative in India, which became a huge success. Google’s messaging app, Allo was also launched first in India and then in other parts of the world.
Similar to free WiFi access at railways stations, Google wants to add more points with its new project, Google Station. At the Google for India event in New Delhi on 27th September, Caesar Sengupta, VP of Google’s Next Billion Plan, said that the company is opening the platform to anyone who wants to contribute to the network.
Google’s blog says, “So today we’re announcing Google Station, which gives partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places. Google Station will provide software and guidance on hardware to turn fiber connections into fast, reliable and safe Wi-Fi zones. Users will get a fast Wi-Fi experience with a simple and unified login, while making it much easier for venues to manage their networks.”
What essentially Google is requesting is service providers and individuals to come forward to provide high-speed wireless internet to citizens of India. The company wants everyone to enjoy internet access, be it malls or cafes or other similar public places.
The Verge notes that these WiFi hotspots can be monetized by the owners, however such plans will be decided at a later stage. Google is urging individuals and companies to reach out for making this plan a success, so if you are interested in joining Google’s journey, reach out to them at https://station.google.com/.
YouTube Go announced for poorer network connections
Continuing with the focus on India, Google unveiled its development plan for YouTube Go, a stripped down mobile app version of YouTube. The tagline of the app aptly says “Mazze udao, data nahi”. YouTube is quite popular in India, but the streaming speeds and the hair-pulling network in India makes the experience a little dull.
To overcome this hurdle, YouTube will test Go with users that sign-up for the service. Although YouTube offline is another options available to users, YouTube Go will standardize the experience across multiple devices and for different internet speeds.
According to the company, “The app is designed to be offline first and work even when there’s low or no connectivity. It’s also cost-effective, providing transparency and reducing data usage. And finally, it’s a social experience, connecting you with the people and content you care about.”
The app will be rolled out to more people in the coming months, as it gets thoroughly tested right now. If you want to sign-up for the service, you can register at with your 10-digit mobile number.
Both the initiatives look extremely interesting and India-focussed, which is a good thing, considering most tech giants do not prioritize the market in India. YouTube Go should be a hit amongst India and other developing nations, where internet speeds are not at par with the developed countries.
Moreover, Google’s push to offer free WiFi in India is praiseworthy and something the Government should look to promote in the country. We might see Reliance Jio partnering with Google to create the ultimate WiFi services in India, but such plans might take time to materialize.