Google is close to launching thousands of balloons in an effort to provide Internet access from the sky. The company is looking to provide reliable access to people in remote areas through Project Loon, which has been underway for several years.
From well above the altitude that passenger jets fly, the balloons would beam down LTE cellular signals to handsets on the ground. "Anyone with a smartphone anywhere in the world will be able to get Internet access," says project leader Mike Cassidy.
Trials are underway with Telstra in Australia, Telefonica in Latin America, and Vodafone in New Zealand. The balloons stay aloft for up to six months at a time.
The company has developed a system to predict where they will land and to retrieve them, according to Cassidy. He says Google also is working on a reliable launching system. "We're getting close to the point when we can bring the Internet to people around the world," Cassidy says.
From IDG News Service
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