The Internet is the backbone of our modern society. You can’t think about a day without the internet. Yet almost 3.8 billion people on earth don’t have access to the internet, especially in remote and rugged areas. That’s why many big technology firms are trying to provide these areas through various methods. Google is one of them. Google recently launched the balloon-powered internet in remote areas in Kenya.
Under the project Loon, Google will use a fleet of 35 or more solar-powered balloons floating 20 kilometers above the ground, in constant motion in the stratosphere, to provide 4G LTE service spanning 50,000 square kilometers across central and western Kenya. These balloons are launched in the US and make their way to Kenya using wind currents.
Google first announced the project Loon in 2013. At that time the tech world was skeptical about the idea as it would use 19th-century technology to deliver modern technology. Although it attracted a great deal of attention, not many people believed that this crazy idea would come true.
One field test of the service showed download speeds of 18.9Mbps and upload speeds of 4.7Mbps. “Depending on the location, each flying balloon can change roles, such as providing Internet directly to users, or becoming a connecting link within our network to broadcast the Internet to another flying balloon,” said Alastair Westgarth, CEO of Loon Project. The secret to circulating balloons and ensuring connection stability lies in AI.