For those unfamiliar with Google’s more “out there” endeavors, Project Loon is one of them. Basically the idea is to float balloons and beam down internet to places where internet is not as readily available, thus bringing internet to pretty much all parts of the world. Last we checked, Project Loon had managed to cover the whole of Sri Lanka.
That in itself is pretty impressive but come 2016, Google has bigger and more bolder plans. Speaking to the BBC, Google’s VP of Project Loon Mike Cassidy revealed that come 2016, the company is hoping that they will have enough balloons up in the air where it can basically encircle the entire world.
According to Cassidy, “[We need] about 300 balloons or so to make a continuous string around the world. As one moves along with the wind out of range, another one comes to take its place. We hope next year to build our first continuous ring around the world, and to have some sort of continuous coverage for certain regions. And if all goes well after, then after that we will start rolling out our first beta commercial customers.”
Google had also announced that they have joined up with three Indonesian telcos – Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata which will allow Project Loon to transmit signals to far-off islands, bouncing signals from one balloon to another. Project Loon has come a long way since its inception. Setting up takes about 15 minutes and internet speeds have increased greatly to about 10Mbps.