Google Is Building a Private Wireless Network at HQ

Which makes some wonder what it's up to
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2013 12:35 PM CST
This Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, photo shows a Google sign at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(Newser) – Google is creating its own, experimental wireless network for its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., leaving tech watchers wondering what it's up to. Last week Google asked the FCC for permission to set up an "experimental radio service" within a two-mile radius of its headquarters, using frequencies incompatible with virtually every mobile device on the market, the Wall Street Journal reports. But the frequencies won't be deserted forever; companies in China, Brazil, and Japan are building networks on the same frequencies, meaning compatible devices can't be far behind.

The network will first be deployed in a single building on Google's campus, namely the one housing its Google Fiber high-speed Internet team. Google will be borrowing frequencies controlled by the Clearwire Corp, meaning they're part of the "licensed spectrum," and can hence be more reliable than WiFi, which anyone can use. "The only reason to use these frequencies is if you have business designs on some mobile service," says one wireless engineer. (Read more Google stories.)

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