Google acquires wireless hotspot provider ICOA for $400 million

The company is getting 1,500 wireless hotspots and hot zones in the U.S.

Google is paying US$400 million to acquire Wi-Fi access provider ICOA, which owns or operates over 1,500 wireless hotspots and hot zones in the U.S.

The search giant and smartphone OS developer isn't proving details on its plans for those assets. Google officials were not immediately available to answer questions about the ICOA deal, which was announced Monday.

This isn't the first time, however, that Google has dabbled in wireless Internet access. It already offers a free wireless Internet service in Mountain View, California, called Google WiFi.

In June, Google signed a deal with Wi-Fi operator Boingo Wireless that allows New Yorkers to access Boingo's network of hotspots for free. In September, Google signed another deal with Boingo that included access to 4,000 hotspots across the U.S for a limited period.

The deal to acquire ICOA would allow Google to offer free access using its own network and compete with operators, albeit on a limited basis if it doesn't decide to expand coverage significantly.

As the amount of data traffic increases, so has also the importance of Wi-Fi as a way to offload cellular networks.

Mobile operators are working to better integrate cellular and Wi-Fi networks by allowing users to access both types of networks using their phone SIM cards, which would make it more difficult for Wi-Fi operators to compete.

ICOA's access points are located in airports, quick-service restaurants, hotels and motels, travel plazas and marinas. The company also provides back office solutions for hotspot operators and wireless service providers, according to a statement.

Google is also offering fiber-based television services and Internet access in Kansas City.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuesGooglewirelessNetworkingtelecommunicationCarriersWLANs / Wi-Fi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?