Giant 4G internet balloons to provide internet access to Kenya’s remote areas

Giant 4G internet balloons to provide internet access to Kenya’s remote areas
In an interesting technological development, a network of giant internet-enabled balloons is all set to provide internet access to remote areas of Kenya.

The initiative is of Google's sister firm Loon and the aim is to provide upgrade all marginalized areas where there is no internet facility.

The balloons will provide 4G coverage so people can make voice calls, video calls, browse the web, email, send text messages and stream videos.

The project was announced two years ago but final sign-off from the Kenyan government has only just been given.

The move is considered essential to improve communications during the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially, the balloons' 4G internet service has been tested with 35,000 customers and will cover a region spanning 50,000 sq km (19,000 sq miles).

Later on, more than 35 solar-powered balloons will be in constant motion in the stratosphere above eastern Africa. They are launched in the US and make their way to Kenya using wind currents.

One field test of the service showed download speeds of 18.9Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of 4.7Mbps.

Loon began as one of Google's so-called ''moonshot projects" in 2011.