Project Loon is on says Indian Government, approves Google’s project to beam internet from balloons

Some time in near future, Indian skies will be seen flooded with the Google balloons. The government of India has approved Internet giant Google’s test plan to send balloons to beam Internet to hundreds of rural Indians.

Google today said that it is working with the government on a pilot project for providing internet connectivity by using large balloons. Google, under its Project Loon, will be sending big balloons to the skies. The Loon balloons floating at a height of 20-kilometres above Earth surface for transmission of internet services. Project Loon has already been successfully tested in New Zealand, California (the US) and Brazil.

“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,” an official source told PTI.

Google will initially partner with BSNL for testing Project Loon in India by using broadband spectrum in 2.6 Ghz band. The technology, used for 4G services, has potential to replace mobile towers as it can directly transmit signals on 4G mobile phones.

According to Google, each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE or 4G. To use LTE, Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.

Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day. The source said that Google may operate as technology service provider and not as internet service provider. “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,” sources added.

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