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Google to Bring Wireless Internet to Sri Lanka with Balloons

posted: 07/30/15
by: Danny Clemens
Project Loon
Google

A fleet of Google-owned balloons floating high in the stratosphere will soon bring Internet access to more than 20 million Sri Lankans, the country's Foreign Ministry announced today.

Dubbed Project Loon, the initiative will employ a network of balloons that travel through the atmosphere, floating twice as high as airplanes. Each balloon is powered entirely by renewable solar and wind energy, using software algorithms to change altitude and take advantage of naturally occurring wind currents.

Google has partnered with telecommunications companies to share space on the cellular spectrum. Users will be able to connect phones and other LTE devices directly to the balloon network. "The signal is then passed across the balloon network and back down to the global Internet on Earth," according to Project Loon's website.

Related: Facebook Scraps Plans to Launch Satellite to Provide Internet to Developing World

The AFP reports that the balloon network should be in the air by March 2016.

The technology has already been successful tested in New Zealand, California and Brazil. The Sri Lanka rollout will be the project's largest deployment to date.

Click here to learn more about Project Loon

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