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Google plans WiFi Service


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Google plans WiFi service

Pages on the search engine's Web site refer to upcoming product, but company declines comment.

September 20, 2005: 8:13 AM EDT




LONDON (Reuters) - Internet search leader Google is preparing to launch its own wireless Internet service, Google WiFi, according to several pages found on the company's Web site on Tuesday.


The Google site refers to a product called "Google Secure Access," which is designed to "establish a more secure connection while using Google WiFi," according to a frequently asked questions page (http://wifi.google.com/faq.html).


A separate page (http://wifi.google.com/download.html) offers a free download of Google Secure Access.


Google declined to comment.


The launch of a WiFi service would move Google away from its core Internet search service and into the competitive world of Internet service providers and telecommunications giants.


Speculation about a forthcoming Google WiFi service has been rife since August, following an article in Business 2.0 magazine, but the company has refused to discussed its plans.


WiFi is an increasingly popular technology that is used to provide high-speed wireless Internet access in homes, business and public spaces like airports and coffee shops. Google launched a sponsored WiFi "hotspot" in San Francisco's Union Square district in April with a start-up called Feeva.


The FAQ says that the Google Secure Access service is in "beta," meaning that the company does not consider it a fully finished product -- similar to the company's Gmail e-mail service.


Google, which is rapidly expanding beyond its core Internet search service, introduced an instant messaging and telephony service called Google Talk in August.



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