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Google targets Nokia air broadband service

(Image credit: Image Credit: Joergelman / Pixabay)

Google is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Nokia Oyj's in-flight broadband business as the company explores ways to reach more users by offering high-speed internet on airplanes. 

By using Nokia's technology, the search giant could provide passengers with a much faster alternative to the Wi-Fi systems currently on airplanes that would allow them to better access YouTube and its other services while on-board. 

Bloomberg reported (opens in new tab) that sources familiar with the matter say the talks are in the advanced stage and that a final agreement could be reached soon. 

Nokia's LTE A2G cellular-based system trumps existing Wi-Fi services by creating a direct link between an aircraft and the ground as opposed to using satellites to bounce the signal from the airplane to the ground.     

While mobile Internet services have advanced significantly in recent years, onboard Internet has remained a hassle for consumers who are less and less willing to pay high rates for a slow connection.  Google sees this as an opportunity to provide travellers with the high-speed Internet (opens in new tab) needed to access its own services and search engine. 

The news that Google may be soon be its competitor was quite troubling for Gogo Inc. which currently offers in-flight Internet service across the US.  The company's stock finished the day with an advance of two per cent while Google's parent company, Alphabet's stock rose by 1.6 per cent. 

A potential deal would be beneficial to Nokia which has recently prioritised its work on 5G telecom equipment (opens in new tab) and could help Google spread mobile connectivity which is essential to its advertising business. 

Image Credit: Joergelman / Pixabay

Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.