After months of discussions, Google finally got approved from Government of India to test out the Project Loon in the country. It will be tested out as a pilot with the helium-filled balloons and that too for just four days. The locations from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are under consideration for testing out the Project Loon. The confirmed locations will be announced once the meeting with National Informatics Center is completed by the end of this week.
After successfully started testing the Project Loon in Newzealand from June 2013, Google expanded the network to Brazil, Australia, Sri Lanka, and the United States. The Project Loon share the internet via 4G LTE; it needs spectrum share from the respective service providers to provide the internet. The Government is also keen on providing high-speed internet in rural areas since urban areas already have comparatively good internet coverage.
There are various objections raised from Aviation, Defence and Home ministry over Project Loon. So Google may end up choosing the places that will not fall under the objections from different ministries. Recently, Indonesia also agreed to use the Project Loon services, and if everything goes well, India will be the next in the list. These balloons will fly above 20km distance from earth which is twice the altitude of what commercial planes regularly fly.
Each balloon provides internet to the devices within the 20km radius on ground. Google is also providing high-speed Wi-Fi for free at few selected railway stations.It is expected to reach 100 railway stations mark by the end of this year and a total of 400 stations in the coming years. It is expected to reach 100 railway stations mark by the end of this year and a total of 400 stations in the coming years. Facebook and Microsoft are considering different options for providing better internet.
Facebook is already testing out the drones to provide the internet, while Microsoft plans to use “White Space” frequency bands of TV broadcasts. As the Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, India visit is confirmed by the end of this month; we can expect the company to discuss on providing the internet through White Space. Since the Government is testing out different ways to provide internet with all these trails, at the end we hope to see high the -speed internet in all the directions of the country.