Balloons Will Be Used to Distribute Internet in Kenya to Improve Communication During the Pandemic
Loon LLC (the branch of Alphabet) received permission from the Government of Kenya to deploy a network of balloons over the country in order to provide wireless Internet access. Balloons should help improve communication during the coronavirus pandemic.
Loon estimates that balloons will arrive in Kenya within a few weeks.
Given the global situation with COVID-19, we’re working as fast as we can to deploy the Loon service in Kenya to help in the short-term, and establish sustainable operations that will continue to serve Kenyans for the long-term.Loon’s blog
Work on the project in Kenya began in 2018, and commercial testing was launched in 2019. In the near future, Loon plans to provide Internet access even for residents in the most remote regions of the country.
Telkom Kenya, a local Internet service provider, acted as a project partner.
The Loon project was launched in 2013 to provide Internet access for residents in rural areas and remote regions. It is a network of balloons drifting in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 18 kilometers.
Balloons are equipped with solar panels, flight capsules and parachutes. They work as a mobile communications tower: they receive a signal from local Internet providers on the ground, and then distribute it to users, covering an area of about 5,000 square kilometers.