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.
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.
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.