Project Loon

Google brings down the stratosphere to test Project Loon

Google brings down the stratosphere to test Project Loon

In order for Project Loon to be successful in bringing Internet connectivity to places where it is normally unavailable, the balloons that carry the equipment to make that possible need to survive up in the air for weeks, months even. That itself is already a challenge, but trying to craft a balloon down here on earth that will survive way up there is almost next to impossible. That is, without trying to pluck a piece of heaven in order to test the extreme conditions that balloons will experience in Earth's stratosphere.

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Google’s Project Loon takes flight in Indonesia in 2016

Google’s Project Loon takes flight in Indonesia in 2016

Google says that in Indonesia, only 1 out of 3 people is connected to the Internet. Now, that number might not sound that bad until you consider that for this country, that translates to more than 100 million people. Add in the fact that Indonesia is a sprawling archipelago spanning 17,000 islands and you've got a recipe for a logistics nightmare for Internet service providers. Luckily, Google is coming to the rescue. With the cooperation of the country's three top telcos, its Project Loon will launch to the air next year to provide Internet coverage for all.

Considering the nature of Google's business, it is no surprise that it is intent on getting as many people connected to the Internet as possible. One of its ambitious plans is the use of high-flying balloons as makeshift flying mobile towers. These balloons float at a height of 20 km, in the stratosphere layer of our atmosphere and far, far above the 10km used by commercial planes. The balloons can form a network that beams Internet signals back to earth to enable connections in places that cannot be reached through traditional channels.

For this experiment, which starts in 2016, Google has partnered with Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata, the country's biggest mobile network operators. Google hasn't given specific dates or areas covered, though it does hint at providing connections from Sabang to Merauke, the two outermost tips of the archipelago.

Google also boasts that Loon isn't its first attempt to cater to the Indonesian populace. The country, after all, was one of the first to get the budget-friendly Android One smartphones. Affordable Internet devices paired with accessible Internet will make not only users happy but Google also in business.

SOURCE: Google

Google Loon brings universal internet access to Sri Lanka

Google Loon brings universal internet access to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is now well on its way to becoming the first country in the entire world to have universal internet coverage. This is thanks to Google Loon, a project in which Google sends up balloons over the country to relay internet to the entire populace. This service is delivering what they call "affordable high-speed internet", though we're not entirely sure of the speed just yet, and the project is a collaboration between Google and the Government of Sri Lanka.

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Google’s Project Loon turns two

Google’s Project Loon turns two

Google’s Project Loon has turned two, and it has achieved various milestones during its short life. The pilot test for the balloon-based Internet project took place in 2013, which the Project Loon team says successfully connected Charles Nimmo, a sheep farmer, to the Internet. The project came to fruition even earlier than that, though, with the first tests involving it having happened all the way back in 2011. Those very early tests involved using easily obtainable radio components and a weather balloon.

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Google floating web plans buoyant says Sundar Pichai

Google floating web plans buoyant says Sundar Pichai

Google's Project Loon, bringing internet connectivity to out of the reach areas using balloons, sounded ridiculous at first. Turns out, according to Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai, that silly idea is actually floating pretty well. Speaking during his Mobile World Congress keynote in Barcelona today, Pichai revealed the latest stats for the floating web platforms, which can now stay up in the air for as long as six months.

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Google wants to test 24GHz spectrum with balloons, drones

Google wants to test 24GHz spectrum with balloons, drones

Drones, balloons, rockets — Google has seemingly endless schemes for delivering Internet to us. We may be largely stuck on the ground, but that doesn’t stop us from beaming info all over the place. In a new letter to the FCC, Google outlines their case for spectrum. Rather than get into the spectrum wars carriers are engaged in, google is going over their heads; literally and figuratively. Rather than frequencies you and I are largely familiar with, Google wants some in the 24GHz neighborhood.

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Google’s Project Loon taps French space agency for help

Google’s Project Loon taps French space agency for help

Project Loon, Google's initiative to bring affordable, high-speed internet to the entire world via hot air balloons acting as floating hotspots, is getting some new help from CNES, France's space agency. Google is relying on CNES's over 50 years of experience and research with high-altitude balloons to bring this project closer to reality.

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Project loon balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers

Project loon balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers

One of the most interesting projects that Google is working on is Project Loon. This project aims to put massive helium filled balloons into the stratosphere laden with gear that can send internet signals to the ground giving people speedy internet access in areas that currently have no access. Google has announced quite a milestone for its Project Loon.

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Google Project Loon test flights to take place in Australia

Google Project Loon test flights to take place in Australia

Google is set to test fly its large balloons, which are part of Project Loon, over Australia next month. Project Loon balloons are designed to beam internet service to residents on the ground. Project Loon is a plan that Google has talked about in the past and hopes to use to give internet connectivity to remote parts of the world. The balloons themselves are able to circle the globe on stratospheric winds.

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Google buys FitBit Ultra design firm for X Lab products

Google buys FitBit Ultra design firm for X Lab products

Google’s X Lab creates some amazing stuff, but many have one common thread: they’re weird looking. Be it Glass, the autonomous car, or Project Loon, they’ve all got a polarizing aesthetic. In trying to make sure we like what we see from Google X, the company has snapped up Gecko Design to help with future iterations of their products.

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Google marks Project Loon’s balloon birthday with LTE tests

Google marks Project Loon’s balloon birthday with LTE tests

Google's Project Loon has celebrated its first birthday by delivering internet access to a remote Brazilian school, floating a balloon-borne LTE connection as it demonstrates the system has wings rather than being full of hot air. Announced last year, Project Loon aims to use a network of high-altitude balloons circling the globe to fill in empty gaps in internet service, a scheme which although derided as ridiculous at first, is now looking increasingly practical.

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Google’s Loon team wants Telco leases, but that’s a tricky offer

Google’s Loon team wants Telco leases, but that’s a tricky offer

Google’s ambitious Loon project is designed to connect the world, specifically in places where connectivity is nearly impossible via traditional methods. By controlling the sky, Google hopes to bring not only a connection, but one that’s 3G or better to “two out of every three people on Earth”. Even more ambitious, Google wants to lease their balloons to Telcos.

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