ADRIAN NARAYAN WRITES –India has been a major candidate for a development that’s been in the works since its launch in the South Island of New Zealand in 2013. This innovative project is called Project Loon – a mission backed by Google that aspires to provide Internet access to rural and remote areas.
An average of 25 percent of the Indian sub-continent has access to the Internet, which leaves an estimated nine hundred million Indians without such a luxury. Project Loon has developed high-altitude balloons that are projected into the stratosphere at an altitude of about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). This estimated altitude is about twice the height at which airplanes fly, allowing many Indians to experience what it’s like to surf the web.
Project Loon uses software algorithms to determine where its balloons need to go, thus moving each one into an altitude of wind blowing in the needed direction. The balloons can be arranged to form one large communications network by moving with the wind.
A single balloon is projected to bring connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE. Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum which allows people access to the Internet everywhere directly from any LTE-enabled devices.
Although India has excelled in different sectors, it has yet to bring Internet access to the vast majority of it’s citizens. This massive project may include the construction of about 2,000,000 towers in India alone.
This innovative project may be a huge success by reducing the number (about 4.5 billion) of people without Internet access in a technology-driven world. This humanitarian project is quite lucrative for Google’s future sales while also playing a vital role for future educational and economic gains for India.
Let’s hope to see this project reach its potential in 2016.