Government nod paves way for Google Project Loon in India

Google seems to have got official nod from the Indian government for testing of the ‘Project Loon’, which would provide fast internet connectivity to the unconnected citizens of India by using large balloons, according to media reports. Google had approached the Indian government to set up the Loon project and Drone-based Internet transmission. However, the government only gave nod for testing of Loon project, as per media reports.

Google internet balloons

The reports also added that a DEITY committee is looking at various aspects to facilitate test like identifying locations, coordination with various agencies. In India, Google may operate as technology service provider and not as internet service provider. In the initial phase, Google may look at partnering with state-run telecom operator BSNL for testing this technology by using broadband spectrum in 2.6 Ghz band. The company started its ambitious Project Loon two years back, with a target to transmit high-speed internet through big balloons hovering 20 kilometers above earth surface for transmission of Internet services.
Google, which is aiming to provide high-speed Internet to more than 100 million people currently with no access within five years, has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (the US), and Brazil. Some other media reports suggest that Google also tested this technology in Sri Lanka, New Mexico, and Chile, and recently started pilots in Indonesia.

Google’s Project Loon has the potential to replace cellular towers as it can directly transmit signals on 4G mobile phones. Each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE or 4G, the company had earlier said.

Also read:Sri Lanka provides internet to rural areas using Google internet balloons, perhaps a call for India to consider such viable options

In order to provide services using LTE technology, Google usually works with telecom operators that can share their spectrum assets, allowing the former to enable people access the Internet directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.

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17 Comments on "Government nod paves way for Google Project Loon in India"


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Kiran Fernandes
November 4, 2015 7:44 pm 7:44 PM

What the hell happened to white space radio? When are they gonna bring it to India?

November 4, 2015 5:11 pm 5:11 PM
HOW DOES THE LOON NETWORK INTERACT WITH LTE NETWORKS? Project Loon plans to partner with telecommunications companies in each country we operate in to share and coordinate use of LTE spectrum. Frequency bands that are difficult to use for broad coverage from terrestrial towers are great for balloon coverage. HOW DO YOU PRESERVE THE SECURITY AND INTEGRITY OF DATA TRANSMITTED OVER THE LOON NETWORK? Data is automatically encrypted while transiting the balloon network. In addition, only devices with specially provisioned Loon SIM cards can access the network. In the future we will integrate with the core networks of partners so… Read more »
November 4, 2015 7:32 am 7:32 AM

*There really isn’t much to cheer here. At the end of the day these loon balloons will still be dependent on the operator’s infratsructure at ground to broadcast 3G/4G signals and its highly unlikely that any operator will provide access to its infra at low costs and cannibalize their own biz This is just a presumption though.