New developments on Google’s ‘Project Loon’
Project Loon is the project that aims to provide internet connectivity by using large balloons. Google with the help of government is all set to make this technology a reality in the very near future. ‘Project Loon’ is using big balloons floating at a height of 20 km above earth surface for transmission of internet services. These floating balloons works like WiFi hotspots in flight.The same is already tested in New Zealand, California and Brazil.
Indonesia’s top 3 mobile network operators Indosat, Telkomsel and XL Axiata have agreed to begin testing this capability over Indonesia in 2016. Many of Indonesia’s people live in areas without any existing Internet infrastructure. So Google is hoping that over the next few years Loon will be able to partner with local providers to put high-speed LTE Internet connections. It will be helpful for more than 100 million currently unconnected people, and provide enough speed to read websites, watch videos, or make purchases.
Google approached government to set up Loon project and Drone based internet transmission. Government has given permission for the testing of Loon project. Project Loon balloons travel approximately 2 miles above earth surface in the stratosphere. Each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE. To use LTE ,Project Loon will tie-up with telecommunication companies to share cellular spectrum .Because of this bonding, people will be able to access the internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE enabled devices. Google may initially partner with BSNL for testing by using broadband spectrum in 2.6 GHz band.
Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day. Google uses software algorithms to determine where its balloons need to go, then moves each one into a layer of wind ie blowing in the right direction. Google may operate as technology service provider and not as internet service provider. The technology has potential to replace mobile towers as it can directly transmit signals on 4G mobile phones.