The technology world surprises us with new dimension every now and then. In this context, Google has prepared to conquer this dimension in the stratosphere-with 30 high-tech balloons designed to provide internet in those places where people are not yet fortunate to get the Wi-Fi connection.
It is popularly called “Project Loon”, a network of balloons designed to travel on the edge of the space to provide internet connection especially for the rural people, to bring people online after they are disappointed with the internet and to fill coverage gaps. Most importantly, the aim is to bring internet access to those parts of the world where the essential infrastructure such as cell tower is missing.
According to Google, around two-third of the population is without a fast and affordable internet access. Therefore, this innovation can actually make a difference in various sectors across the globe. Once the balloons are released, they will float in the stratosphere above 60,000 feet. Such high altitude will be controlled from “Loon Mission Control” via software to allow them pick up winds to travel in the right direction and form a network of balloons. Around 60 people have installed antennas on their homes to connect to the balloon network for trial.
But how does it work?
The signal will get transferred from one balloon to another and then to the internet back on Earth. The biggest advantage is that several people will be able to connect to the internet through one balloon at a time. There are antennas installed within the balloons with the expert technology of radio frequency. Each of these balloons can deliver connectivity to a ground area of about 25 miles similar to a 3G service. But the question is, would this technology be available throughout the day or a particular time of the day.
The balloons are powered by solar panels to store energy for night operations. They are also equipped with instruments to monitor weather conditions to be tracked by GPS. In addition, parachutes are attached with each of them in case they need to be brought down.
And how does it benefit small business?
Google’s goal is to provide internet balloons to facilitate communication during any crisis. They promise to provide Wi-Fi access to 4 billion people who have no access to get online. It has been observed that several small–medium enterprises are online right now.
- One of its major impacts is in the agricultural sector – the farmers in the remote rural areas can gain market information in order to receive a better price from the merchants.
- In addition, when the communication infrastructure is miserable, the Loon technology will act as the savior just like in places where there is a dearth of doctors, the network will help to provide drug information, therefore, help to coordinate supplies.
- The tourism industry will be highly benefited from the Wi-Fi network, as the network allows keeping a close look at the weather forecast, checking online map services and then plan the visit to any remote area accordingly. As remote areas suffer a lack of Wi-Fi availability, this can encourage the holiday maker.
To improve the Wi-Fi balloon technology such as the batteries, power orientation, radio configuration or envelope design, Google is still experimenting with its project Loon Wi-Fi balloons in California to check if it is viable and what problems can be overcome in order to make it extensively available. The Google Giant is trying its best to minimize interference and maximize bandwidth to make “Project Loon” a success.
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