Google wants every Indian to be connected to the Internet, says CEO Pichai
16 Dec 2015
  • Google today made clear its intention to bring more Indians, especially women, online and offer them "full Internet", as it consolidates efforts to provide people in developing countries better connectivity and high-quality software.

  • The tech giant will help women from three lakh villages across India to get online in three years, and as part of this initiative, it is expanding the Bicycle for Women programme nationally, CEO Sundar Pichai said at the 'Google for India' event in the national capital.
  • Pichai is on a two-day visit to India, his first overseas trip after he took over as CEO of the restructured Google in August.
  • "Our focus is on bringing Internet access to everyone, making sure our products are working for them in a meaningful way, and then ensure our platform allows them to add their voice to the Internet," Pichai said.
  • Google expects more than 500 million Indians to be online by 2018, up from around 300 million today. But with most new users accessing the Internet via cheap smartphones instead of desktops, poor mobile connectivity is forcing the company to adapt how it structures and sells software, he said.
  • Among a host of other announcements, the Chennai-born Pichai said Google would train two million Indian developers for its Android operating system by 2019, expand presence in the country and bring the ambitious Project Loon to India soon.  
  • Project Loon proposes to provide Internet connectivity from balloons floating at a height of 20 km above the earth's surface on a pilot basis. The idea is to connect remote areas of the country using LTE or 4G technology through the balloons, which can transmit as far as 40 km from their diameter, according to Google.
  • The Internet mogul said it will build a new campus and ramp-up engineering operations in Hyderabad to make products for India. It will also heighten hiring in Bengaluru.
  • Pichai also said the company is working with Indian Railways to bring Wi-Fi service to 100 stations, with Mumbai Central the first to go online in January. Google is also looking to increase the number of local languages available on Android's virtual keyboard to target non-English speakers.



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