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Google to Provide Internet by Balloons in India
Nov 07, 2015

Internet giant Google is working with the Indian government on a pilot project for providing Internet connectivity by using large balloons. Google approached the government to set up the Project Loon project and drone-based Internet transmission. Government has approved testing of Project Loon only as of now.

Key Features

  • Google, under its 'Project Loon', is using big balloons floating at a height of 20 kilometres above the Earth's surface for transmission of Internet services.

  • It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (USA), and Brazil.

  • Google may initially partner with BSNL for testing this technology by using broadband spectrum in 2.6GHz band. The technology, used for 4G services, has potential to replace mobile towers as it can directly transmit signals on 4G mobile phones.

  • Each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE or 4G.

  • To use LTE, Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.

  • Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day.

  • Google may operate as technology service provider and not as Internet service provider. 

  • Under the drone project, Google had plans to transmit Internet on ground using 8 big solar powered drones but that has not been cleared by government yet.

A committee under chairmanship of Secretary, DeitY (Department of Electronics & Information Technology) has been formed to work on it. The committee is looking at various aspects to facilitate test like identifying locations, coordination with various agencies. 

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