Kenya to get first deployment of internet balloons from Google parent

Alphabet rolling out Internet balloons with Telkom Kenya

Alphabet Will Bring Its Balloon-Powered Internet to Kenya

Loon "graduated" from Alphabet's X "moonshot factory" to become an independent subsidiary firm of Google's parent company on July 11, with pledge to go ahead with its commitment to the business of using high-altitude balloons to deliver WiFi Internet service to "unconnected and under-connected people around the world". Telkom Kenya is the third biggest telecommunications provider founded in 1999 in Kenya that operates post and telecom services to Kenyan customers.

The balloons themselves are created to float for more than 100 days at a height of 60,000 feet.

However, some critics have suggested the partnership will lead to a monopoly in Kenya, dominating the internet market and warning those most affected will be the consumers. As a matter of fact they liked it so much that they are going to bring this balloon borne internet system to help achieve full internet coverage for their population.

The balloons float 60,000 feet above sea level and beam a 4G signal down, powered by an on-board solar panel, to provide broadband coverage to lower-population-density areas.

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This'll be the project's first deal in Africa, Reuters reports, and it'll see Loon working with Telkom Kenya to get high-speed internet to the East African country's rural and suburban populations. The balloons are created to stay aloft for months at a time, and move by surfing wind channels, predicting speeds and directions so that they can navigate in the direction they need to travel.

Loon has been testing a network of balloons, traveling along the edge of space, to expand internet connectivity to underserved areas and disaster zones.

"Hopefully the infrastructure will also incentivise private sector and the government alike to consider facilitating public access solutions".

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