Finally it’s going Official as Alphabet’s Loon launched its first ever large-scale balloon-based Internet service in Kenya. The project has been ongoing for a long time, and finally it was a done and dusted. The Balloon-Based Internet service was made available in Kenya first among others.
Balloon-based Internet project by Loon is aimed to provide Internet connectivity around the world in regions that are currently “Internet-less blank spots”.
World first balloon-based service provides Internet to more than a 50,000-square-kilometre region in Western and central Kenya, and there is plan to expand it to reach provinces in Mozambique as well. The deployment in Kenya makes this the first non-emergency use of the Loon service to provide connectivity on a large-scale basis.
According to Loon, for the balloon-based Internet service to cover 50,000 square kilometres of Kenya which areas include Iten, Baringo, Eldoret, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru, Kisii, Kericho, Bomet, and Narok. It will use 35 or more separate flight vehicles or “balloons” that will be in constant motion above Eastern Africa.
Balloon-Based Internet Speedtest
The “balloons” are sent to the stratosphere and use advanced machine-learning algorithms to move and reposition themselves and provide Internet coverage to the areas below.
During field testing of this project, the team at Loon noticed download speeds of 18.9Mbps, upload speeds of 4.74Mpbs, and latency of 19ms. It was also tested with several applications like YouTube, email, WhatsApp, Web browsing, and more, as well as voice calls and video calls.