Google launches low-bandwidth services for users in India
Google launches low-bandwidth services for users in India. Image credit: Search Engine Land.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) released five new low-bandwidth versions of its products on September 27. These versions are first available in India, to address the country’s problems with unsteady internet connections.

The products in question are the Google Station, YouTube Go, Google Assistant in Hindi, data-saving Google Chrome, and Google Play for 2G. The search giant aims to bring more Indians online as well as give them the tools to enable the best online experience possible.

India is an emerging market and has a less developed infrastructure. In consequence, the South Asian nation shows very slow Internet speeds (5.3Mbps) in comparison to the fastest performing countries like South Korea (41Mbps) for example.

Network availability and 3G/4G coverage allow faster average user data speeds. However, underperforming countries such as India are only beginning to introduce 4G LTE networks. They still rely on 3G and even 2G networks to cover much of the demand.

Google’s new low-bandwidth Indian products are specifically targeting India to help users access features that would otherwise be out of their reach. The tech company is also making a long-term investment.

India is one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies and has just surpassed the United States to become the world’s second-largest Internet market, with 333 million users, only behind China’s 721 million.

Google Station

Google’s new Wi-Fi network will offer carriers, system integrators, and venues an easy way to set up fast, reliable, and secure Wi-Fi in malls, transit stations, and cafes across the country.

Already partnered with telecom RailTel to provide Wi-Fi in every single one of India’s railway stations, Google wants to seal deals all over the world for Google Station to go global.

YouTube Go

No, it is not a YouTube-Pokémon alliance but is close. YouTube Go is the new mobile video app for today’s video-consuming generation. The app, designed for data-conscious customers, runs on low bandwidth.

Users can also control how much data they consume on videos. They can preview videos first, choose the video’s file size, save it offline to watch later, and even share it with nearby people without using data.

Google Assistant in Hindi

Google’s intelligent personal assistant service allows voice commands for faster browsing. A Hindi version of the Google Assistant will appear inside Google’s new instant messaging mobile app Allo before the end of the year.

Data-saving Google Chrome

Google’s web browser has already a data saver mode. However, Chrome will now support MP4 videos, save up to 67% of video data, detect 2G networks and automatically load simplified pages.

Google Play for 2G

Low-bandwidth connections will get faster browsing on Google’s digital media store. Google Play will charge its favorite sections for 2G connections. The service launched on September 27, exclusively for Play users in India.

Additionally, when users try to install an app, Google Play will offer them a “Wait for Wi-Fi” option. If they choose it, the app will only install when the smartphone connects to Wi-Fi.

Source: CNBC‎