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June 17, 2013

Google trials ‘Project Loon’ to offer internet through balloons

The network will offer high-speed internet in remote areas.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has started an experiment to make the Internet accessible in remote areas in southern hemisphere with a network formed by balloons, under a project called as the ‘Project Loon’.

Project Loon

As part of the project, the company has released about 30 balloons this week in the Canterbury area of New Zealand and is using 50 testers to connect with them.

Project Loon balloons will float in the stratosphere, twice as high as aircrafts. According to the company, the balloons will be powered by solar-energy, to float over the wind at high-altitudes about 12.5 miles (20km) and use algorithms to find out where the balloons need to go and then moved up or down to catch the winds blowing in the respective direction.

Project Loon

The balloons are claimed to offer internet services to the ground with speeds similar to the current 3G networks or faster.

With the project, the company expects to overcome the terrestrial challenges to Internet connectivity presented by the jungles, archipelagos, mountains and other geographical surfaces.

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Users can connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building to catch the signal that bounces from balloon to balloon, then to the global Internet back on Earth, the company said.

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