Google’s parent company Alphabet has launched a WiFi service in Kenya using giant balloons.
The project is called “Loon” and was initially announced several years ago. Finally, as a result of a deal with the Kenyan government, the balloons were launched last week.
The WiFi balloons are jettisoned into the air where they settle at around 60,000 feet. Then, they are directed by machine-learning algorithms that have developed their own complex navigational maneuvers.
They stay in the stratosphere for over half a year at a time and can provide internet over an 11,000 sq km area. That is over 200 times the range of a traditional cellphone tower!
“While this all sounds like a far-off, science-fiction future, it’s not. Just look to Kenya,” Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth says.
Loon will launch 35 balloons into the stratosphere above Kenya in the coming weeks, providing internet for thousands.
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