Google seeks partnership with Kenya telcos for roll-out of internet balloons

The project seeks to increase internet connectivity among the millions of people living in rural areas

The project which has been under testing in parts of the country seeks to increase internet connectivity among the millions of people living in rural areas without ground stations and fibre connections.

Kenya's ICT ministry lauded the move saying it would bring down costs and deepen internet use across all segments of the population.

Telkom is the only mobile network provider that has been in consultation with Project Loon so far but no partnerships have been confirmed.

Internet signals

The balloons enable the nearest telecommunications partner’s ground station to receive the wireless internet signals that are then transmitted across the network of balloons and then back down to users’ mobile phones on the ground.

Each balloon can cover up to 5000 square kilometers and uses only renewable energy.

Even then, there’s still uncertainty over the safety of the balloons after it was reported that one such balloon crashed in a farm in Meru a while ago.

Such crashes have also been witnessed in nearly 10 countries, including Panama and the USA.

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