Saturday, 22 September, 2018


Alphabet to deploy balloon Internet in Kenya with Telkom in 2019

Alphabet to deploy balloon Internet in Kenya with Telkom in 2019 Alphabet to deploy balloon Internet in Kenya with Telkom in 2019
Melba Vasquez | 22 July, 2018, 13:40

The project's balloons had previously been used for non-commercial deployments to deliver coverage in the wake of natural disasters; most past year, following flooding in Peru and a hurricane in Puerto Rico.

In a collaboration with Telkom Kenya, Loon will provide internet service from high-altitude balloons whose paths across the sky are choreographed to maintain coverage, according to Loon, the newly independent business unit within Alphabet.

The announcement comes just a week after Loon graduated from Alphabet's secretive "moonshot factory" known as X. That means it's considered a full-fledged company beside sister companies including Google and self-driving vehicle developer Waymo. Telkom Kenya is the third biggest telecommunications provider founded in 1999 in Kenya that operates post and telecom services to Kenyan customers.

Loon became the fourth firm that emerged from Alphabet's X lab project and joined other subsidiaries to become Google's sister company, such as smart-thermostat maker Nest, health-data firm Verily and self-driving auto operator Waymo.

However, some critics have suggested the partnership will lead to a monopoly in Kenya, dominating the internet market and warning those most affected will be the consumers.

Google's Loon internet service that aims to deliver high-speed internet to rural areas has signed its first commercial agreement, partnering with Kenya's Telkom network. "We will work very hard with Loon, to deliver the first commercial mobile service, as quickly as possible, using Loon's balloon-powered Internet in Africa". "We couldn't be more pleased to start in Kenya", said Loon Chief Executive Officer, Alastair Westgarth.

Kenya, with loon Internet balloon technology, is looking to get full internet access in the country.

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