Google To Deploy Balloon Internet In Kenya

Doris Richards
July 22, 2018

In a collaboration with Telkom Kenya, Loon will provide internet service from high-altitude balloons whose paths across the sky are choreographed to maintain coverage, according to Loon, the newly independent business unit within Alphabet.

Wing and Loon have been part of the Alphabet "moonshot factory" known as X, creating projects with potential to disrupt new sectors. Loon's equipment is powered by on-board solar panels.

This will be Loon's first commercial service in Africa after successful test and deployment in Sri Lanka and Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Marina.

The balloons will be tested in central Kenya, which has been hard to serve because of its mountainous or inaccessible terrain.

Loon's balloons will float 60,000 feet (18 km) above sea level, much higher than any passenger plane, which fly at only 30,000 feet (9 km).

Alphabet, the parent company of renowned search engine Google is to improve internet connectivity in remote areas in Kenya in a different way.

The company had successfully used the technology to bring Internet connectivity to people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island previous year.

Kenyans in rural and sparsely populated areas will from next year access high-speed internet through high altitude balloons which act as cell towers. Telkom Kenya and Loon will determine precise coverage areas in the coming months, though their decisions will require ratification by regulators.

Alastair Westgarth, Chief Executive of Loon told Reuters that, "Loon's mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies". Further, I expect we'll see more of these third world countries jump on this type of service since the infrastructure required is pretty slim.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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