Operating its own high-speed fiber service and free Wi-Fi networks evidently isn't enough for Google – the company could now be considering some kind of foray into wireless broadband.
Google has filed a request with the US FCC seeking approval to test an experimental wireless radio system in the vicinity of its Mountain View headquarters, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and Ars Technica.
While the company is staying quiet on what it plans to do with the trial, and has in fact requested confidential treatment. as part of its application, some details of its proposed experiment are public.
Consulting engineer Steven J Crowley has crunched the public details of Google's submission, and determined that the company intends to deploy up to 50 base stations, both indoors and outdoors. The tests would use the 2524-2546 and 2567-2625 MHz frequencies, spectrum controlled by wireless broadband operator Clearwire.
The spectrum bands aren't compatible with most consumer devices available on the US market, but are compatible with networks being rolled out in markets including China and Japan.
Crowley told WSJ that “the only reason to use these frequencies is if you have business designs on some mobile service.”
A more prosaic explanation could be that Google merely plans to use the network for internal testing of new devices or wireless innovations.
Whatever the plan is, neither Google or Clearwire are commenting on their intentions. Clearwire has even declined to comment on whether it is working with Google on the trial.