[H]ardOCP: Alphabet to Deploy Balloon Internet in Kenya With Telkom in 2019

[H]ardOCP: Alphabet to Deploy Balloon Internet in Kenya With Telkom in 2019

The first commercial deployment for Project Loon - the "balloon-powered internet" being developed by Google parent Alphabet - is headed for Kenya, the USA tech giant said Thursday.

The technology involved uses high-altitude balloons that operate as inflatable cell towers.

Alphabet, the parent company of renowned search engine Google is to improve internet connectivity in remote areas in Kenya in a different way.

"Loon's mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies", said Loon CEO Alastair Westgart. 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.

With more than 45 million people, Kenya's major cities and towns are covered by operator networks, but vast swathes of rural Kenya are not covered. Telkom Kenya is the third biggest telecommunications provider founded in 1999 in Kenya that operates post and telecom services to Kenyan customers.

It will cover rural and suburban populations. The project will provide internet signals across a massive area, using solar panels on board to generate power.

"Once these networks are in place, and dependency has reached a critical level, users are at the mercy of changes in business strategy, pricing, terms and conditions and so on", Ken Banks, an expert in African connectivity, and head of social impact at Yoti told the BBC.

Alphabet subsidiary Loon said it plans to deploy balloons to offer 4G network coverage to Kenya from next year, Reuters reported. Keep up the good work you Loons! As part of its first commercial agreement, Loon has pledged to bring internet access to some of Kenya's most inaccessible regions.



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