Project Loon, for those who are not yet familiar with the concept, is a project developed by Google X with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas. For that it makes use of high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere which create an aerial wireless network with up to 3G-like speeds.
Now it seems that Google is ready to bring its Internet balloons to India, as well, as they have received permission to start testing Project Loon. Google is believed to initially partner with BSNL for testing this technology by using a broadband spectrum in the 2.6GHz band. Each balloon is said to provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter. The Press Trust of India adds some more details:
“Google approached government to set up the Loon project and drone-based internet transmission. Government has approved testing of Loon project only as of now. A committee under chairmanship of Secretary, DeitY, has been formed to work on it. The DeitY committee is looking at various aspects to facilitate test like identifying locations, coordination with various agencies. 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.”
The technology that Google looks to bring to rural areas of India has the potential to replace mobile towers as it can directly transmit signals to mobile devices. For the LTE capacity, Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies and for powering up its balloons, Google uses solar panel and wind.
Google has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California, and Brazil. Earlier this year Google has signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to launch the technology on a mass scale; thus it becomes the second country in the world to get full coverage of internet using LTE, after Vatican City. A few days ago Google agreed to partner with Indonesia’s main carriers to bring the technology to the country and now it seems the company is ready to take on the big challenge of bringing internet to India, as well.