Google Venturing To Provide Internet To Remote Regions Of Indonesia Through Balloons
Not one to shy away from innovative practices when it comes to the world of technology, Google is now planning to start testing Internet-beaming balloons in Indonesia starting next year in order to make Internet availability more common.
Since Indonesia isn’t really like other countries and is made up of over 17,000 small islands filled with mountains and jungles, it is difficult to provide internet connection to many areas in the region. This is where these balloons come in, aiming to connect up to 100 million people with the rest of the world.
Partnering up with three Indonesian ISPs: Telkomsel, Axiata and Inmost, Google’s Project Loon will be sending up 12 meter tall helium filled balloons around 20 kilometers up into the stratosphere. The balloons should be able to serve as antennas capable of beaming down internet speeds of upto 10 megabits per second.
The balloons won’t even have to come down unless for some maintenance purposes since they are equipped with solar panels and altitude control system and their movement can be tracked with GPS.
The Loon Project is part of a wider initiative to link Indonesia up to the rest of the world. Just 23% of Indonesians own smartphones, so Google-Android are releasing affordable smartphones called Android One. They’ve also added Indonesian languages, such as Bahasa and Sundanese, to Google Translate to welcome them into the “cybernautical world.”
Google is aiming to build an entire chain of balloons throughout the world to provide connectivity to remote regions and according to Project Loon’s vice president Mike Cassidy, it should take around 300 balloons to do that.