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Google tests expansion of free Wi-Fi service to Vietnam: report

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 10:50 GMT+7
Google tests expansion of free Wi-Fi service to Vietnam: report
Google Station logos are seen at an conference in Mexico, March 13, 2018. Photo: Reuters

Google Station, a global free Wi-Fi initiative of the Internet giant, appears to have made its presence felt at several universities in some major Vietnamese cities.

Google Station allows partners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places by providing software and advice on hardware to turn fiber connections into Wi-Fi. It was first implemented in India in December 2016, and has then extended its reach to Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Vietnam might be the seventh country in the world and the fifth in Asia to receive Google Station-powered free Wi-Fi services.

Several students at Vietnamese universities such as the Electric Power University in Hanoi, the University of Technology in the central city of Da Nang, the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, and the Post and Telecommunications Institute of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City have reported that they have been using Google free Wi-Fi service at their campuses since earlier this week.

Nguyen Van Tang, a student at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, said he has been online with the free Wi-Fi since Tuesday.

“The connection quality is good,” Tang told news website VnExpress, adding that he can watch YouTube, access websites and social media at normal speed using the free Internet service.

Users have to watch an advertisement to get an hour’s worth of free Internet access from Google Station, according to the students.

The free wireless network is named “FreeGoogleStation – Swifi” and a Swifi logo will appear during the connecting process.

With S-wifi being a public Internet provider under the Saigon Postel Corporation, it is speculated that Google is partnering with the Vietnamese company to introduce Google Station at these universities in Ho Chi Minh City.

Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper reported on Friday a Google executive has confirmed the tech giant is testing its Google Station in Vietnam but declined to give further comment, saying the company would make an official announcement later.

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