May 22 Google Inc plans to offer Wi-Fi
network hardware and software at a discount to small and
medium-sized businesses, tech blog The Information reported on
Wednesday, citing a confidential document it accessed and a
person who was briefed on the project.
Google would provide commercial-grade Wi-Fi access equipment
at a steep discount and Web-based software for businesses to
manage the Wi-Fi network from anywhere, the blog report said,
but it did not provide specific pricing details.
Google may require Wi-Fi users to "sign in" to their Google
account, allowing the company to gather more information about
them and target advertising to them.
Google also plans to share some data with the business
owners to help them learn about their customer habits, although
it was not clear what the Internet giant might be willing to
share, the blog said.
The offering, which is aimed at millions of businesses such
as restaurants, doctors' offices and gyms, could be unveiled as
soon as this summer, it said.
(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Ken