Google Fiber is slowly but surely beginning to make its way into more areas, and Google has already plotted out many more cities that it plans, or at least hopes, to roll out Fiber to in the future. There may be more to Google’s interest in Fiber than just offering customers extremely high speed internet at competitive rates though, as there are reports that Google may be interested in and already looking into the possibility of rolling out a wireless network in the areas where Google Fiber is already live. The word is that Google has already approached at least two existing wireless carriers here in the US, Verizon and Sprint, with talks on the Sprint side happening sometime last year before the official Softbank buyout had finalized, and Verizon talks happening sometime in the beginning of this year.
Right now there are only two cities where Google has already either rolled Fiber out to completely or has at least begun the process. Kansas City, MO and Provo, UT and Austin, TX is planned to get the next rollout, with other major cities like Portland, OR and San Jose, CA on the list of places where Google would like to see Fiber make its debut in those areas. Although they already compete with wireless carriers to some degree with video chat through hangouts and Google Voice VOIP, having a proper wireless network to offer customers another option to high priced competitors like ATT and Verizon would put them in direct competition.
The source suggests that Google could be looking to have their wireless network partner up with wireless access points, which might be part of the reason behind the deal with Starbucks locations where internet access is provided by Google. With wireless hotspots available from Starbucks in the areas where Fiber is already provided, customers could seemingly move between the wireless network and the wifi hotspots for cell signal and coverage much like the wifi calling features of T-mobile and now Sprint. It’s unclear if this was their goal from the start but it wouldn’t be a bad idea. With Google rolling its Voice service features and functions into Hangouts, we have to wonder if they would be looking into some way to give customers a seamless transition between a regular call and a hangout call when users move from the network to a hotspot. It’s probably highly unlikely but just some interesting food for thought.