Feeds

Google's new broadband offer: 20-days of WiFi for a quid

Balloon-busting service only in Indonesia ... for now

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Google is trying another tactic to get more of the developing world online, this time with a WiFi Passport service allowing Android users in the Indonesian capital Jakarta to bypass busy 3G networks.

To access the service, dubbed WiFi Passport, users will need to be running Android 2.2 and above.

After downloading an app from the Play Store, they will then need to have a WiFi Passport voucher – akin to a top-up card – which are available from a range of café and convenience store chains, gaming centres and university campuses.

Getting started is apparently as easy as launching the app and entering the code on the WiFi Passport voucher. Individual sessions last 24 hours with no requirement to re-enter credentials each time the user visits a different Wi-Fi spot in the city.

Data usage is limited to 3GB for one day, 7GB over a week and 10GB over 30 days, Google said.

Promotional Passport vouchers valid for ten days can be obtained for free at special events in the Indonesian capital. After the freebies finish a 20 day voucher costs IDR20,000 (£1.12 or $US1.80) and a 50 day voucher is IDR50,000 (£2.80 or $4.46).

While the entirety of the vast Jakarta conurbation of over 30 million isn’t covered with participating hotspots, Google has a decent number already up and running in major centres.

The Chocolate Factory didn’t say if the scheme would be extended to other major cities in Asia and beyond, but given the company's willingness to try beaming broadband from balloons we'll guess that if Passport is a success it could become one of the ways the Google fulfils its mission to bring the “next billion” online.

Let's also remember Google's November 2012 launch of the Google Free Zone in the Philippines, offering free access to search, Gmail and Google+ even without a mobile data plan.

The firm has also been trialling the use of white space TV spectrum in Africa to bring low cost connectivity to rural communities. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.