Project Loon is definitely ambitious, and some might even argue that Google will fail in this endeavor. However, things seem to be going in the right direction right now, as the company still hopes to be able to launch its first continuous ring around the world this year. The goal of Project Loon is to provide high-speed internet to less-fortunate nations such as Sri Lanka, and it definitely makes sense for Google try to and expand the reach of the internet across the world, as this would only increase its traffic and revenue in the long run. The engineers working on the project have implemented a system that can keep balloons in the air for up to 100 days, but in order to get them up in the first place, they need a series of advanced portable autolaunchers.
One such autolauncher was showcased no too long ago in Puerto Rico, where it managed to launch a Project Loon balloon in no more than 30 minutes. According to the team’s representatives, these crane-like devices will allow them to move their entire operations to areas with favorable wind patterns, and they will also keep the balloons out of stiff breezes until launch time in order to improve overall control. Since these balloons can now link with each other while in the air, the team needs eight ground stations as well as a balloon network in order to provide internet service to a certain region. Some parts of Asia, West Africa and Latin America are expected to benefit from this system later this year.
Google’s efforts to bring free internet to some of the world’s most remote areas is certainly commendable, and even though Project Loon is a very difficult project to complete on a global scale, Google is definitely making some incredible progress. To be more specific, Project Loon is expected to launch for the first time in Sri Lanka, which makes sense since this particular island country has been very supportive of the endeavor. Also, the fact that Sri Lanka measures just 25,000 square miles definitely helps.
The actual plan involves Google working closely with the island’s own internet providers in order to allow them to expand their range and service quality, which means that Project Loon for Sri Lanka won’t deliver free internet for everyone but will rather expand the coverage of existing networks. Keep in mind that the service can only deliver 3G speeds at this point, which means that tasks that require a bit of bandwidth such as high-quality video streaming will likely not be supported. However, light web browsing and the occasional YouTube video can be enjoyed in 3G without too many issues. Sri Lanka currently boasts about 20 million citizens, out of which only a bit over 3 million enjoy internet access. Therefore, Project Loon has the potential to improve the quality of life for many people. Google plans to start launching balloons by next March.
Thank you TheVerge for providing us with this information.
It’s easy to raise your brow at big companies when you hear about scandals and lawsuits, but it’s important to keep in mind that some of these giants are also working on innovative technologies that are meant to make our lives easier. A great example is Google’s Project Loon, which was announced officially on June 14, 2013. The project aims to bring “internet for everyone” using balloons, and even though it seemed to be a bit of a long shot at first, Google is actually making great progress with it.
In recent news, the team behind Project Loon posted a brand new video that highlights key aspects concerning balloon manufacturing and partnership agreements with abroad LTE network providers. The most impressive achievements so far include maintaining balloons up in the air for up to 100 days and creating them in only a few hours. This means that Google can now launch a few dozens of balloon each day, which is impressive considering that it could only launch a single one during the project’s early stages. An organized fleet containing thousands of balloons could definitely bring free Wi-Fi into remote areas of the planet where the infrastructure is not quite ready yet.
Are you excited for Project Loon?
Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.