Project Loon: Google’s wireless networks to be delivered by balloons

As part of an initiative to get cat videos – I mean the internet – out in developing countries; Google has ambitious plans to deliver access in these locations by balloons, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Bear with me on this; this is a strange thing to write about as well as read I’m sure.


The concept is to use a combination of CPUs and Android phones to connect a much larger wireless network, utilising airwaves primarily used for television broadcasts. This is either forward-thinking, or madness, or perhaps a combination of both.

These special balloons, or “blimps”, are known as “high-altitude” platforms, and are the clear next step to world domination. Although I’m part joking; we are arriving at an era where whoever controls the internet, controls everything, especially with the rise of the Internet of Things.

Providing internet access to these emerging markets will help boost their economies to new heights (no pun intended) and provision new jobs, alongside improved international communication.

Typically rivals, Google and Microsoft have been teaming up to push for airwaves to be opened up for public use. This week the tech giants will be using their influence at a two-day conference in Dakar, Senegal to push for opening these spectrums.

Currently Google has a trial in Cape Town which pushes a signal out from a “base station” to wireless access points in educational institutions for teachers and students to access high-speed internet access via Ethernet and/or wireless routers.

What do you think of Google’s latest plan for emerging markets? Is it good the company is looking to provide for these areas, or simply trying to overtake other carriers?

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