Google looks to acquire Nokia’s airline broadband unit

By Pouyan Broukhim

According to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, Google is in advanced talks with Finish telecommunications company Nokia regarding the potential purchase of its in-flight broadband business unit.

If an acquisition comes to fruition, Google would look to use the unit to offer faster Wi-Fi internet connections to airliners, with it likely that the internet platforms would be created around Google’s existing entertainment platforms such as Google Play or YouTube.

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If successful, Google will rival similar existing in-flight entertainment systems, such as Netflix who announced that it would be expanding its airline operations this year.

Netflix has previously partnered with US airliner Virgin America, offering its services and low-bandwidth broadband onboard the company’s planes, whilst also having introduced its new downloadable feature in November 2017, making the app much more accessible to those on the go.

The key difference that Google’s acquisition would offer would be an increase in the quality and speed of airborne internet, providing a more competitive and faster alternative to existing providers.

It remains to be seen whether the talks will progress.

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