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Alphabet Closes Down Internet Balloon Network Project ‘Loon’

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced on Friday that it will close its featured project, Loon, which aims to provide wireless Internet using balloons in the stratosphere, as it is not commercially viable.

The idea behind Loon was to build a network of balloons to extend internet connectivity to underserved areas and disaster zones. Initially, it was part of the alphabet “Moonshot Factory,” known as X, aimed at creating projects that confuse new sectors.

X’s Astro Teller announced the decision on his blog: “Unfortunately, despite the team’s breakthrough technical achievements over the last nine years, the road to commercial viability is much longer than expected. , Proven to be high risk, “he added.

The runes were deployed to provide the internet in Puerto Rico after the 2017 Hurricane Maria and after the great earthquake in Peru.

Last year, it announced a partnership with the infrastructure of US telecommunications giant AT & T and continued to run third-party mobile communications services in the aftermath of a similar disaster.

It launched a pilot commercial service in Kenya in July, urging the company to declare that “a new era of stratospheric communications has begun.”





Loon, an alphabet project aimed at providing wireless internet over high-flying balloons, has been closed.
AFP / Martimelville

However, Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth said on Friday that the company “couldn’t afford enough low costs to build a long-term, sustainable business.”

According to the company, Loon’s employees will be closed in the “next few months” in the hope that they will be relocated to Alphabet.

Local media in Kenya reported that the plan for Telcom, the country’s rune telecommunications partner, is now “at a loss” after the announcement.

On Friday, Loon also announced $ 10 million in funding “to support nonprofits and businesses focused on Kenya’s connectivity, the Internet, entrepreneurship and education.”

Rune’s giant, clear plastic balloon is powered by solar panels and navigates using an artificial intelligence system. This allows you to ride high altitude winds to the ideal location or loop patterns to create a web with consistent internet coverage in the sky.

The venture, which became an independent company within Alphabet in 2018, was known as the so-called “other bet” for tech giants in this category, including the Waymo self-driving car project and the delivery of Wing drones.

But Loon is not the first of a similar project. In February 2020, Alphabet closed Makani, which used high-tech kites to power wind energy.



Alphabet Closes Down Internet Balloon Network Project ‘Loon’ Source link Alphabet Closes Down Internet Balloon Network Project ‘Loon’

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