Google acquires wireless hotspot provider ICOA for $400 million

The company is getting 1,500 wireless hotspots and hot zones in the U.S.

Google is paying US$400 million to acquire Wi-Fi access provider ICOA, which owns or operates over 1,500 wireless hotspots and hot zones in the U.S.

The search giant and smartphone OS developer isn't proving details on its plans for those assets. Google officials were not immediately available to answer questions about the ICOA deal, which was announced Monday.

This isn't the first time, however, that Google has dabbled in wireless Internet access. It already offers a free wireless Internet service in Mountain View, California, called Google WiFi.

In June, Google signed a deal with Wi-Fi operator Boingo Wireless that allows New Yorkers to access Boingo's network of hotspots for free. In September, Google signed another deal with Boingo that included access to 4,000 hotspots across the U.S for a limited period.

The deal to acquire ICOA would allow Google to offer free access using its own network and compete with operators, albeit on a limited basis if it doesn't decide to expand coverage significantly.

As the amount of data traffic increases, so has also the importance of Wi-Fi as a way to offload cellular networks.

Mobile operators are working to better integrate cellular and Wi-Fi networks by allowing users to access both types of networks using their phone SIM cards, which would make it more difficult for Wi-Fi operators to compete.

ICOA's access points are located in airports, quick-service restaurants, hotels and motels, travel plazas and marinas. The company also provides back office solutions for hotspot operators and wireless service providers, according to a statement.

Google is also offering fiber-based television services and Internet access in Kansas City.

Send news tips and comments to

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Mergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuesGooglewirelessNetworkingtelecommunicationCarriersWLANs / Wi-Fi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?