Google Wi-Fi makes its debut in Singapore

A three-pack Google Wifi bundle could be purchased at S$15 per month when StarHub customers signed up or renewed a two-year service contract for the telco’s broadband or all-in-one plans.

If a customer chooses, for example, StarHub’s one gigabit-per-second (Gbps) fibre stand-alone plan together with Google WiFi, they would pay S$54.90 per month for the package.

Called Google WiFi, it differs from traditional routers by being a mesh networking system made up of multiple nodes, more of which can be added if wider coverage in a home is required.

“Combined with our [optical] fibre-rich broadband network and expertise in home networking consultancy, Google Wifi can bring to customers. blanket coverage of the entire home regardless of its size and configuration”, said Ringo Ng, the managing director for consumer business at HKT. The plans, which are available, include StarHub’s 1Gbps Fibre Broadband plan and also the multi-service SurfHub, HomeHub 1000 and HomeHub Go 1Gbps bundles.

“There have been some wireless access points which work in a way very similar to Google mesh Wifi for some time, but this marks the first time that a brand as ubiquitous as Google has marketed this technology to the mainstream in Asia”, said Paul Haswell, a partner at worldwide law firm Pinsent Masons in Hong Kong.

Google Wifi is already available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. And yes, you can get it via Google’s online stores in those countries.

In Asia, Google’s online Store is available to users in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and India.

Mr Geh characterised the partnership with StarHub as an “aligned” one, with both companies crucially sharing similar goals.

The two partners, however, did not say how long this exclusivity would run or whether other resellers would be added in future.

Google Wifi joins the growing selection of mesh routers available locally, from the Linksys Velop to the Netgear Orbi.

This is especially useful for homes that have dead zones that a single router just can’t reach.

He noted that different regions have unique channel regulations, and a Google Wifi router made for the US might not play well with devices here. The built-in Network Assist will do things like dynamically change the router’s channels based on the strongest signal at the time, and the router’s app lets you do advanced things like giving devices priority as well as schedule connection pauses, with an easy to understand UI.

The Google Wifi routers also get automatic updates almost every six weeks – which include security updates.

The price is also attractive. M1’s bundles with the Asus Lyra and Linksys Velop with a 1Gbps fibre connection come in at S$55 and S$59.90 per month respectively. At S$360, the Google Wifi three-pack is less than half the price.

However, because of its simplicity, Google Wifi probably isn’t for power users.

In the US, you can pick up a three-pack for $299, or $129 for a single router unit.

Find out what we think of theGoogle Wifi in today’s edition of The Straits Times.

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