Google s CEO Sundar Pichai is visiting India to address media, developers and startups in the country. Pichai is also scheduled to meet key ministers in the government. Also Read - Now you will have to pay a processing fee for mobile recharges on PhonePeAlso Read - Google cuts Play Store fee to 15 percent for all subscription apps from 2022
Interestingly, Sundar Pichai s visit to India has triggered speculations that Google may revive Android One program in India with new ultra-low-cost smartphones. While the agenda of Pichai s meet hasn t been revealed as yet, but Google may be looking to achieve a lot of things other than rumored Android One through the visit. Also Read - Facebook’s new name could be Meta or Horizon, or will it be called FB?
One of the main agendas could be becoming a greater stakeholder in the Digital India campaign. Digital India is Narendra Modi s ambitious project, and he has made plenty of efforts to realize this through visits to Silicon Valley and meeting key tech executives around the world. Modi had also met Pichai during his recent visit to the US. Following the meeting, Google had announced greater participation in the Digital India campaign by providing Wi-Fi service at about 500 stations by next year. Pichai s visit may see a formalization of this announcement, and more details about this initiative.
Another key element of the Digital India is the connecting the remote areas of the country through the Internet. While the NOFN is already in place for this purpose, Google may also want to launch its Google Fibre services in the country that is in line with the Digital India efforts. The purpose of the network, we believe, will be providing affordable and faster connectivity across India.
Google and the Indian government have long discussed the prospects of the Project Loon in the country. It may be recalled that the Project Loon had hit one of its first hurdles in the country after the government expressed concerns that the Internet-beaming balloons may interfere with the existing networks and spectrums. Pichai and his key executives will want to sort these issues out during this visit.
One of the key announcements could be around Indic language support for smartphones as well as apps. Google could announce partnerships with some smartphone vendors as well as some app developers.
Pichai is also expected to announce a fund to support Indian startups.