Google Project Loon – Balloon Powered Superfast Internet now in Indiaby Harshada Vispute November 4, 2015
If you think food, clothing and shelter still continue to be the basic human necessities, then think again! Well, in this modern world it would be a sin not to include ‘internet’ in the list. It has become part of our lives, so much so that we cannot imagine our life without it. Like other basic needs, fulfilling this need is equally difficult considering the lack of connectivity and affordability, especially in the remote areas! I don’t know about food, clothing and shelter, however, it seems our government is seriously considering the internet connectivity problems by giving Google the permission to carry out Project Loon testing in India.
What is Project Loon?
According to Google, two thirds of the world population still cannot access internet. Loons are like parachutes or balloons that hover in the sky and send out signals to the earth providing internet connectivity across a particular area.
Project loon is the initiative taken by Google to fill the internet coverage gaps in rural and remote areas, connecting people with the network of balloons travelling on the edge of space. These loons will also ensure that people stay connected even after disasters.
These loons float twice high as the airplanes in the stratosphere and navigate wherever they are needed with the layers of winds that flow in various directions. The technology uses software algorithms to move the loons into the layer of wind blowing in the direction where it is required. Commendable, isn’t it?
Google partners with the telecommunications company to share the cellular spectrum and enables people to connect to the balloon network. One can effortlessly connect to this network with any LTE-enabled device or even with a phone!
Using the 4G or LTE each loon is capable enough to provide connectivity across an area of about 40km in diameter! More so, to power the electronic equipment this eco-friendly technology uses solar panel and winds to navigate the loons.
First Project tests
This project was first tested in New Zealand’s South Island in the year 2013 by releasing 13 balloons in the stratosphere that gave flawless connectivity to a group of small pilot project testers. Other than New Zealand it was also tested in California and Brazil. Sri Lanka government recently approved Google’s pilot project and might get 100% internet connectivity soon! You may ask, what about India? Are these loons coming to India anytime soon?
Google Loon Project in India
Here is the good news! We might soon able to enjoy this amazing balloon’s services in India, for Google has got a nod from Indian government to carry out the project loon testing!
BSNL will be the initial partner of Google to test this technology by using a 2.6GHz broadband spectrum. It is said that this technology can replace the mobile towers and can provide 4G network flawlessly!
So, does this mean Google will be our network service provider? Well, there is hardly any chance for this to happen. However, Google will operate as technology service provider facilitating and identifying locations for the loons. Though the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) has given a nod to this project, it declined Google’s plans to provide internet connectivity through 8 solar powered drones.
So, keep your fingers crossed! If Google gets the required clearances, our dream of superfast and affordable internet connectivity will soon come true!