Google is reportedly in talks to buy Nokia technology for better Wi-Fi on planes

Key Points
  • Google is in talks to buy Nokia's airborne broadband system, Bloomberg reports.
  • The acquisition would allow Google to offer a faster alternative to existing in-flight Wi-Fi.
  • If the deal goes through, this would be one of several Alphabet projects focused on connectivity.
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google is in advanced talks to buy Nokia's airborne broadband system, Bloomberg reports, citing multiple sources with knowledge of the discussions.

Google would use Nokia's technology to offer faster in-flight Wi-Fi.

Nokia announced its air-to-ground connectivity network late last year with internet speeds as fast or faster than those of the in-flight internet company Gogo. Having its own Wi-Fi system on planes could allow Google to funnel people toward its entertainment products, like YouTube or Play Music.

If an acquisition goes through, it will be one of several connectivity-focused projects that Google parent company Alphabet is working on. There's Fiber, a stalled effort to blanket the country with super-fast internet service; Loon, which uses giant balloons to beam internet to remote areas; and a partnership with Starbucks to provide Wi-Fi to customers.

Bloomberg reports that the in-flight Wi-Fi technology is less of a priority for Nokia than its other telecom efforts. For example, in February Nokia acquired a mesh Wi-Fi start-up that works with Google Fiber as it tries to makes a push into home Wi-Fi.

Alphabet and Nokia didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the full Bloomberg report here.