Three communications infrastructure projects from Google this week reflect the increasing diversity of the company best known for its online search engine.
Today, it was revealed that the Google has launched a plan to lay new undersea high-speed fibre optic cables in Southeast Asia. As part of the $400 million project, Google will link up with a consortium of regional telecommunications suppliers to build the high-speed fibre-optic pipes.
The Southeast Asia Japan Cable network will connect Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore with 8300 km of submarine cabling capable of transfer speeds of up to 17 Tbps, later upgradeable to 23 Tbps.
Due for completion in 2012, the project suggests that the search engine giant is keen to become a direct benefactor of the rapidly increasing, and highly lucrative, demand for super-fast broadband in the continent, which is reportedly already home to around 738 million Internet users.
The SAJC ties in with Google’s last involvement in telecommunications infrastructure, a 6,200 mile cable connecting Los Angeles with Chikura, Japan, that is due to be trialed next year.
Earlier this month, Google announced the forthcoming release of its own public domain name system (DNS), a service that connects web addresses to the relevant web servers. According to the company, Google Public DNS provides a faster and more reliable alternative, although sceptics will suggest that it also increases the amount of user data that is funnelled to the company.
Google is also preparing its entry into the smartphone hardware market with a handset code-named ‘Nexus One’. Despite being manufactured by Taiwanese group HTC, the device will be distributed under the Google brand and will use the open source Android operating system, the company behind which Google acquired in 2005.
So far Google has provided little insight into how the device will differ from existing Android-equipped handsets. A company blog post described it as “a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities”. The smartphone is set to launch in the next few weeks.