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MANILA, Philippines – Google’s global director of partnerships for its “Next Billion Users” initiative, Mahesh Bhalerao, announced the company’s free public WiFi service, Google Station, will be launching in the Philippines this February.
The service will be available in 50 locations initially across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, but Bhalerao says that they have plans to expand across the archipelago from under-connected regions to high-density areas.
Google Station first rolled out in 2017 in Indonesia, before rolling out to 4 other countries including Mexico and India. The Philippines will be the 6th country to have Google Station.
In the project, Google will help partners roll out WiFi with the provision of software and hardware advice for turning fiber connections to WiFi.
In an email, Google provided more details on Google Station, saying that it’s “a set of cloud-based software and network access devices that help venues (with access to fiber) offer and manage Wi-Fi hotspots.” “Users can automatically connect and get Wi-Fi services without giving their phone numbers. Venues can similarly just plug and play,” it added.
PLDT is the telco partner for the project. Bhalerao mentioned Unilever as an “advertising partner,” but a Google representative later clarified to say that Unilever isn’t a partner for Google Station, although it is a partner for another program called “Digiskarteng Pinay.”
Bhalerao made the announcement at the Google for Philippines event on Wednesday, February 13. – Rappler.com