Google looks to expand internet access in India, announces bouquet of new products

By: | Published: September 28, 2016 6:36 AM

Technology major Google on Tuesday announced a bouquet of new products for the Indian market which are adapted for and aimed at expanding access to the Internet for users in the country.

Technology major Google on Tuesday announced a bouquet of new products for the Indian market which are adapted for and aimed at expanding access to the Internet for users in the country. Most of the products are suited to work with low Internet speeds. The products include a new Wi-Fi platform called Google Station, a video app called YouTube Go and an offline feature for Chrome web browser and faster loading in Google Play on 2G network.

Rajan Anandan, vice-president, India and South East Asia said that the company’s vision is to make India a global hub of innovation and produce high quality mobile developers who will build not just for India but for the world.

Outlining the three key areas of focus — access, products and platforms — Google vice president Caesar Sengupta said that the company is working to provide a better and more inclusive online experience for users in India. “Our goal has not just been to help more Indians get online, but also to help Indians create the online experiencethey want. So, we have been thinking about how to build products and services for this wave of new users — products that work for any level of connectivity, in local Indian languages, and across the devices that are most frequently used in India,” he added.

Following its partnership with RailTel and Indian Railways to provide Wi-Fi at Indian railway stations, Google has now launched a new platform called Google Station. The new platform will work with partners like system integrators (SIs) and venue owners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots. This will provide more people in the countyr fast, reliable, and secure Wi-Fi in places like malls, transit stations, and cafes. Besides, users on a low-bandwidth connection will now be able to choose and install an app through their mobile network or install it when the phone next connects to Wi-Fi.

Google is also focusing on the next million of users who will come online in the coming years in regional languages other than English. Its new messaging app Allo will introduce support in Hindi for its Google Assistant later this year. It also announced a group of tailored features for Chrome, like automatic optimising of pages when 2G-like networks are detected. These simplified pages load up to 2X faster, saving more than 90% of data usage. This data saver feature will now support videos as well, helping users save upto 67% data.

Google Capital launches programmes for start-ups

Google Capital, the investment arm of online search giant Google, is now making mid level as well as late stage investment in start-ups in India. The company on Tuesday launched two programmes for start-ups in India. The first one is Launchpad which provides few weeks of training to start-ups. Under the second programme — Launchpad Accelerator – start-ups are provided with a longer-term training of three months.

“India is the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world. What started as an early stage investment in start-ups, through Google Capital we are now making mid-level as well as late stage investments in start-ups,” said Rajan Anandan, vice-president, India and South East Asia, Google.

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