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Alphabet to Deploy Balloon Internet in Kenya With Telkom in 2019


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A Google Project Loon Internet balloon awaiting deployment.

Alphabet subsidiary Loon plans to deploy a system of balloons next year to provide high-speed Internet access to rural and suburban populations in Kenya.

Credit: Stephen Lam/Reuters

Alphabet subsidiary Loon recently announced it plans to deploy a system of balloons to provide high-speed Internet access to rural and suburban populations in Kenya next year.

Loon's technology was used by U.S. telecommunications operators to provide connectivity to more than 250,000 people in Puerto Rico after a hurricane last year, and Kenya hopes the technology can enable full Internet coverage for its population.

The Loon platform relies on balloons, powered by an on-board solar panel, to provide 4G coverage to areas with lower population densities. At 60,000 feet above sea level, the balloons float above air traffic, wildlife, and weather events.

"Loon's mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies," says Loon's Alastair Westgarth.

From Reuters
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