Google Mulls Own Campus in Hyderabad

Internet giant Google plans to open its own "permanent and big" campus in Hyderabad and is set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Telangana government shortly to take up the venture.

"We are likely to sign MoU with Google. They are likely to open their campus here in Hyderabad. It will be the third campus they will have after the US and the UK," Telangana IT, Electronics and Communications Secretary Harpreet Singh told PTI here.

Google currently operates from rented premises here but wants to move to a "permanent campus", he said, adding that the tech major would sign an MoU with the state government shortly.

He, however, declined to go into further details of the proposed venture, saying a press conference is scheduled to be held shortly on this but added that it would be a "big campus".

Mr Singh also said Cisco, Airtel, Vodafone and a Taiwanese company, among others, have responded to the expression of interest floated by the government on proposed venture to make Hyderabad a "Wi-Fi-enabled city".

"Many of them are partnering and coming," Mr Singh said, adding that the Taiwanese firm, in fact, was behind making Taipei a Wi-Fi-enabled city.

But he said the companies that have evinced interest have sought information such as detailed maps of the city, including roads, and some clarifications with regard to certain specific points.

"So, we are preparing the replies; we will give it to them."

"It will take time (to make the city Wi-Fi-enabled) because business model is the critical issue. Making wi-fi is not a big problem ... but how to monetise it ... is the key issue," he explained.

Mr Singh, however, said the contract for this venture is expected to be awarded in the next three-four months after floating the request for proposals and the bidding process.

After that, the successful bidder is expected to take six months to roll out the infrastructure, he said, indicating that the city is likely to be Wi-Fi-enabled only towards the end of next year.

On the proposed Rs 30 crore incubator facility for technology start-ups, he said its designs have been completed and the process of tendering is in progress.

The 70,000 square feet facility will have 800 seats, housing an expected 500 start-ups in different stages of growth, he said.

"We are planning to formally inaugurate this building on June two (on the first anniversary of Telangana State's formation)."

As for software exports from Hyderabad, he noted that it was Rs 57,000 crore or roughly $10 billion in the year 2013-14.

"This year (2014-15), I think it's (going to be) 12 per cent (more). We may do slightly better (better than 12 per cent growth)," Mr Singh added.
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