We have already spoken on numerous occasions about Project Loon, Google's initiative to bring mobile Internet coverage to remote areas where the installation of fixed infrastructure becomes unfeasible. In this sense, the idea is to be able to carry 4G mobile Internet coverage through a series of solar balloons.
Now we just met going Reuters that Project Loon will begin its commercial tests in Kenya over the next few weeks, tests that will be crucial because they will depend on whether or not those skeptics can be convinced, between governments and telecommunications operators, who currently doubt their technical feasibility for a number of issues.
Among them are the replacement costs of the balloons every five months, taking into account that each unit will cost thousands of dollars (it is expected to improve the durability of the balloons and their equipment); by the stability of the coverage in the areas where it is located, depending on whether or not there is wind, or by the need for abundant sunlight throughout the year, making its use unfeasible in many parts of the world.
The tests will be carried out with the operator Telkom Kenya, the third largest in the country, with the idea that the inhabitants of the benefited areas can contract 4G services at market prices for an indefinite period.
In order to carry out these tests, prior approval will be required from the aviation authority, which will issue at the end of this month to facilitate the start of the tests.
Google also decided to partner with telecommunications operators instead of creating their own networks, to avoid conflicts with operators, shareholders and activists, according to three former executives pointed to the aforementioned publication.
The Google project is also facing a lawsuit for the alleged theft of the idea from a competitor in 2008. The trial for it will begin on August 2 in San Jos, California.
Despite the possible drawbacks, Project Loon has already demonstrated its viability in Peru and Puerto Rico, which made it possible for operators to use Project Loon's balloons for free in those areas where natural disasters ended up knocking down the telephone towers throughout these last few years. three years.
It will be necessary to be attentive to how the tests are developed.
Image Credit: Loon