Google's Loon brings internet-by-balloon to Kenya

Google's Loon brings internet-by-balloon to Kenya

Google's Loon brings internet-by-balloon to Kenya

The Alphabet subsidiary - Loon - used its high altitude balloons in Puerto Rico past year after its infrastructure was monstered by a hurricane.

Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Aldo Mareuse says the partnership with Loon will expand LTE coverage across larger areas in Kenya where it has been hard to service due to the mountainous and inaccessible terrain.

Founded in 2013 as Project Loon, Google developed the technology at its "X" innovation labs.

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

Alphabet's balloon-powered internet is going to Africa.

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The provision of this high speed internet service will make it Alphabet's first commercial deal in Africa.

Loon has been testing a network of balloons, traveling along the edge of space, to expand internet connectivity to underserved areas and disaster zones.

As of 2019, internet will be delivered to central Kenya by balloon as part of a commercial deal with Loon, a unit of Google's parent company Alphabet. As a matter of fact they liked it so much that they are going to bring this balloon borne internet system to help achieve full internet coverage for their population. "We couldn't be more pleased to start in Kenya".

The balloons float at 60,000 feet (20 km) above the sea level - high over air traffic, wildlife, and weather events.

Loon and Telkom plan to launch the internet service next year (although this is subject to regulatory approval) and Telkom's boss Aldo Mareuse explained the telecoms business is committed to rolling out the service as quickly as possible. Telkom Kenya is the third biggest telecommunications provider founded in 1999 in Kenya that operates post and telecom services to Kenyan customers.

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