Google’s much awaited project Loon seems to be taking a concrete momentum now. After series of discussions, Google has finally received a formal approval from the Government of India to test the Loon project within the country. To this effect, locations of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have been duly considered for the testing. one of these two locations will be finally announced by the Government once the meeting concludes with National Informatics Center this week.
Loon will be tested out during the pilot with helium-filled balloons in a span of four days. The project began successfully with testing in NewZealand in June 2013. Google has expanded the network later on to Brazil, Australia, Sri Lanka, and the United States. Loon will share the internet via 4G LTE; the project needs spectrum share from the respective service providers to deploy the internet. The Government of India is also very keen to provide high-speed internet in the rural areas.
Earlier and ongoing, various objections from Aviation, Defence and Home ministry continue over Project Loon. It is better for Google to choose the location that does not cover the respective entities as mentioned above. Indonesia is also considering the Loon services. India will be the next in the list, if everything goes as planned. The Loon balloons will fly above 20km distance from earth, twice the altitude that is used by the commercial jets to fly.
Each Loon balloon will provide internet to the devices within the 20km radius on ground. Google also provides high-speed Wi-Fi for free at select railway stations. Facebook and Microsoft are also considering various options for providing better internet within the country.
Facebook is in the process using ‘drones’, while Microsoft intends to use “White Space” frequency bands of TV broadcasts. The Government is testing out several ways to provide internet with all the above possibilities.