San Francisco, California — Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Google’s parent company, announced on Wednesday the new advancement of Project Loon. The company stated that they are partnering in 2016 with Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata, Indonesia’s three largest mobile network operators.
The project consists on providing Internet coverage across Indonesia with the use of wind-propelled balloons. Developers chose this country because, even though it’s the world’s fourth most populous country, surprisingly just one-third of its citizens have Internet access; only about 42 million of the 250 million population. The main goal is to provide Internet to 100 million people in Indonesia who currently live offline.
Google’s Asia Pacific Blog read, “From Sabang all the way to Merauke, many of these people live in areas without any existing Internet infrastructure, so we hope balloon-powered Internet could someday help give them access to the information and opportunity of the web.”
Mike Cassidy, vice president of Project Loon, said that the alliance with the wireless carriers means speeds will be faster and users will be able to surf websites, stream videos or make online purchases at regular access speed. Also without running optic cables or building cell towers the wireless signal can reach sparsely populated and remote terrains.
The first step of the project was to test this product in places like New Zealand, Australia, California, and Brazil. The next phase of the 2-year-old project is to launch the Internet-beaming balloons into the sky about 60,000 feet above the Earth.
Source: NBC News