Feeds

Just what is GOOGLE'S MYSTERIOUS NEW WIRELESS NETWORK?

El Reg drills into search giant's radio boffinry

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Google wants permission to build an experimental wireless 2.5GHz network to test secret technology using 50 base stations and 200 devices.

The network will squeeze into two 2MHz-wide slots, starting at 2524MHz and 2567MHz, and will use both directional and omni-directional antennas mounted on walls and ceilings across the Google campus over the next two years - but what kit or protocol it will be using remains a mystery.

A filing to the FCC requesting permission to operate the experimental radio network was spotted by one Steven Crowley, who promptly pointed the Wall Street Journal in the direction of the much-redacted documents (one in HTML, the other in PDF, less interesting than one might hope).

So we don't know who's supplying the kit nor what Google will be using it for, only the bands in which it will operate and the location where it will be deployed, which leaves us in the comfortable realm of idle speculation.

The bands fall within the "3G Expansion" band, generally referred to as 2.6GHz, which are being auctioned off around the world for 4G (LTE) deployments. LTE can be squeezed into 2GHz, but the band being used by Google is paired with one much higher up the spectrum that's almost certainly a red herring.

What's more likely is that the band was a convenient one for testing, and the testing is most likely to be in White Space database techniques which we know Google is actively involved in developing.

White Space databases keep a list of locally available radio frequencies, supplied by the FCC and doled out to enquiring devices in exchange for GPS coordinates; short-range gadgets, such as wireless mics and small-scale networking kit, can therefore use the databases to pick unused frequencies in the area in which to operate.

Google is one of the companies planning to run a White Space database in the US, but most of the companies involved are planning to add some intelligence to the process in the cause of differentiation.

Spectrum Bridge, for example, has already suggested polling devices for reports on how successful their White Space communication is with a view to refining its own data on-the-fly. Most companies are also planning to log issued frequencies in order to avoid giving the same band to two devices in the same place (though if they're using different databases that will still be possible).

Google will want to be doing all that, and more, for which it will need to refine techniques for detecting interference, logging usage and coping with mobile devices, all of which can usefully be developed with a pair of 2MHz channels at 2.5GHz.

This is just guessing of course - perhaps the Laser Tag team at Mountain view just fancy having their own comms network; with Google one can never be sure, but White Space databases are a long-term investment and it would be nice to think Google is doing something beyond working out how to make us click on adverts more often. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.