Published in Cloud

Alphabet brings balloon internet to Kenya

by on19 July 2018

Loony Tunes? We don't think so

A division of Alphabet – Google's parent company – has struck a deal with Telkom Kenya to bring the internet to people of the country.

The Alphabet subsidiary – Loon – used its high altitude balloons in Puerto Rico last year after its infrastructure was monstered by a hurricane. The balloons fly 20 kilometers above sea level.

It gives a whole new meaning to cloud computing, even though the Loons are high above the clouds.

The system will cover both suburban and rural areas – financial details of the deal with Telkom Kenya were not disclosed.

Loon is one of Alphabet's “Other Bets” technology units which includes self-driving unit Waymo, and Wing – an experimental drone delivery system.

Loon was originally part of Google's “Project X” R&D outfit. The only problem is that most internet access is driven not by satellites, but by deep sea cables, so we do wonder if there will be sufficient bandwidth unless loads more internet ready satellites are launched into space complete with very clever routers.

Last modified on 19 July 2018
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