In line with its focus to provide connectivity to the unconnected areas of the world, technology major, Google has partnered with the Sri Lankan government to launch its ambitious – ‘Project Loon’ across the island nation and enable seamless Internet connectivity.
A unique global connectivity enablement initiative – powered by Google, ‘Project Loon’ utilizes high-altitude balloons to offer affordable Internet access to remote regions without Internet connectivity. As part of this initiative, balloons, equipped with solar panels, can travel approximately 12.4 miles above the earth – in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather.
By partnering with telecom operators and carriers, to share cellular spectrum project loon can enable people to connect to the balloon network directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices. The signal is then passed across the balloon network and back down to the global Internet on Earth – providing seamless internet connectivity.
Using Google’s software algorithms, Project Loon establishes the balloons’ intended destination depending on the wind. Last November, Google announced that up to 20 balloons can be launched per day under the project.
Enabling connectivity in rural areas, with this partnership, Sri Lanka will become the first country to have complete Internet access using hot-air balloons. Google is also likely to partner with local telecom companies in Sri Lanka to provide a nationwide LTE connectivity framework, which can take benefit of this project.
As an island nation, Sri Lanka covers around 25,000 square miles in area and has a population of 22 million. As per the experts, this topography makes it ideal for a Loon network to enable seamless connectivity quite easily.
Neighboring India, is another country which has a huge population, still deprived of basic level of Internet connectivity – and hence an initiative such as this can push internet connectivity in remote parts of India, exponentially.