Internet is the main reason the smart generation can be differentiated from the stone age. I don’t why we call it stone age, well, the current generation has many things to brag about besides stones and soon everybody will have unlimited internet connection. Google would like to make enough internet beaming balloons in the stratosphere to form a ring over part of the world next year.
Essentially, the balloons will cover the earth with data service. However, Google is not the first tech company with such an incredible idea. Three mobile operators in Indonesia came up with Project Loon balloon-powered internet. The project will enable people in Indonesia gain access to limitless educational, cultural, and economic opportunities of the Internet.
In addition, Samsung has a similar proposal but doesn’t involve balloons. The president of Samsung of R&D Farooq Khan prescribed in a proposal dubbed Mobile Internet from the Heavens.
Google’s project will have massive impact on people since the internet will have 4G like speed. The balloons have two radio transceivers to receive and send data streams, plus a third back-up radio, a flight computer and GPS location tracker, an altitude control system, which is used to move the balloon up and down to find winds that will take it in the desired direction and solar panels to power all the gear. The balloons will have the ability to supply 10 megabits a second to connected devices via antennae on the ground.
“In the early days, the balloons would last five or seven or 10 days. Now we have had balloons that have lasted as long as 187 days, we’ve also improved the launch process.
“It used to take 14 people an hour or two to launch a balloon, now with an automated crane we can launch a balloon every 15 minutes with two or three people.” Mike Cassidy, vice-president of Project Loon, told the BBC.
The project will be fully implemented in 2016. Surprisingly, the company needs about 300 balloons to make a continuous circles around the world.
“As one moves along with the wind out of range, another one comes to take its place. We hope next year to build our first continuous ring around the world, and to have some sort of continuous coverage for certain regions. And if all goes well after, then after that we will start rolling out our first beta commercial customers.” Mike said.
A single balloon is able to cover a ground area 40km in diameter below it. I think Kenya needs these balloons more than any other country. The country has many operators who do shoddy work in that sector. A good example is the pathetic Safaricom internet.
The balloons are made out of tightly sealed plastic capable of containing highly pressurized lighter-than-air gases. The balloons are able to sustain their their stability in the air even if there are changes in temperature.
Google believes project loon will be a cheaper solution than installing fibre optic cables or building mobile phone masts.