Google to lure SMBs to the fold with discount wi-fi gear

Google to lure SMBs to the fold with discount wi-fi gear

Summary: Google plans to offer SMBs discounted wi-fi gear and software in what is speculated to be a data-driven campaign.

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Credit: Google

Google plans to entice SMBs to part with their data and the data of customers in return for cheap wi-fi hardware and software.

According to tech blog The Information (subscription required), Google will "heavily" subsidize commercial-grade wi-fi network hardware and software for SMBs.

The publication cites a confidential document and a person close to the project, and says the project could be unveiled as soon as this summer in the United States, before being launched abroad. Businesses including restaurants, libraries, gyms and doctor's offices will be targeted in order to boost the quality of Wi-Fi services offered to customers.

Pricing details were not disclosed.

Such a scheme will provide wider connectivity in our cities, but could also provide Google with a valuable data channel that can be monetized through advertizers and marketing companies. SMBs signing up for the project, and customers using wi-fi hotspots, may be required to "sign in" with a Google account when using the service, giving Google the opportunity to gather data on customers and clients. This, in turn, could let Google recoup losses from the subsidized tech by selling on data for targeted marketing.

According to the report, Google will share some data with business owners to sweeten the deal and let them learn about their customers' habits.

In August, Google inked a partnership with Starbucks to replace AT&T as the provider of connectivity for coffee shop wi-fi hotspots.

Topics: Google, Networking, Wi-Fi, SMBs

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4 comments
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  • No, Thank you.

    " giving Google the opportunity to gather data on customers and clients. This, in turn, could let Google recoup losses from the subsidized tech by selling on data for targeted marketing."

    - I will better keep the evil out of my business.
    Owl:Net
    • Typical Google

      when people don't buy your stuff, pay them to use it.
      William.Farrel
  • Work at home special report.......................WWW.WORKS23.US

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    Tiredill
  • Please get a clue

    In the technology world SMB does not mean "small business" (and you have to be awkward even to construct the acronym from those words). That acronym is already taken and it means something entirely different.

    Just more proof this is a "popular layman's rag" and not a technology site, or even a popular technology site.
    dilettante