Tech

Google plans to close Loon and use balloons for web access

Google’s parent company has completed a project using high-flying balloons to provide Internet access in hard-to-reach areas of the world.

The project, known as Loon, was launched in 2013 and aimed to connect people in remote areas where traditional ground-based infrastructure is too expensive or too difficult to install. However, Loon, which was overseen by Alphabet Inc., couldn’t cut enough costs to make its business model sustainable, project leader Alastair Westgarth wrote in a blog post Thursday.

“Developing a radical new technology is inherently dangerous, but it doesn’t make it easy to break this news,” Westgarth wrote.

Rune’s technology sent a tennis court-sized gas-filled polyethylene balloon into the stratosphere. Altitude is typically about 60,000-75,000 feet. There, on-board communication equipment sent Internet signals back to Earth. Westgarth states that the system was able to provide mobile coverage in an area 200 times larger than a typical ground cell tower.

The partnership brings Loon’s Internet coverage to developing countries and areas affected by natural disasters. In 2015, Alphabet said Loon would help increase Internet access in Indonesia. In Indonesia, two-thirds of the 250 million people were not online at the time.

Google plans to close Loon and use balloons for web access

Source link Google plans to close Loon and use balloons for web access

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