Google Station in Indonesia: What is Going On?

Google Station

Some exciting news: Google is launching its public Wi-Fi program in Indonesia. It offers free connectivity at railway stations and other locations like universities and more. Interestingly the Indonesian launch is the first expansion of Google Station: that is how the program is called. Moreover, it debuted in India approximately 18 months ago.

Google Station

Now, what is the project all about? It is quite simple: it offers a free way to get online with a decent quality Internet connection. The great thing about “Google Station” is not only that it makes easy to get public Wi-Fi. It is also that the program offers connectivity to those, who might be unable to afford the internet otherwise or perhaps are even unaware of it entirely.

So, when you do something big and something good, you don’t do it alone: usually, you need help. Therefore, Google works with a range of partners. Those include ISPs, venue owners and system integrators on the project. And that is not all. Google also enlists the help of ISPs and device makers to help get support and optimization for the networks on phone connections themselves and reduce costs.

Where it all began

As already mentioned, the Google Station program began first in India. It began with Mumbai Central station in January 2016. Moreover, last September it expanded beyond public transportation to include stations across the country, shopping malls, bus stops, cafes, etc. So what is the bottom line? Google claims the service is at over 150 stations. That helps “millions” to go online every day. It comes as a surprise, that 15,000 people in India go online for the first time using the public Wi-Fi services each day, Google claims.

Moving on to Indonesia, the program is targeting “hundreds of venues” across Java (capital city Jakarta) and Bali over the next 12 months. And Google is not doing it alone. It said it is working with service providers CBN and FiberStar in order to bring the idea to life.

Did you know that Google expanded its data-friendly YouTube Go app? It was previously only available in India. Now it is also accessible in Indonesia.

The future of Indonesia

Many know that Indonesia is increasingly a key target for technology companies. They see the Internet as a game-changer for Indonesia’s 260 million population. In fact, that is the world’s fourth highest. Moreover, the Internet has the potential to change daily lives and enable new services, whether it is fin-tech, e-commerce or taxis on demand. The hard part is getting decent access to the Internet.

We all know that India has been a key market for most tech companies in the last years. However, the game is changing: lately, Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy started being in the center of attention, as well. Furthermore, Southeast Asia’s Internet economy is projected to grow 6.5-fold to reach $197 billion by 2025, according to a report co-authored by Google last year. And Indonesia is expected to represent around half of those values.

Armen Margarian

Armen Margarian is an attorney with The Margarian Law Firm.

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