Google Project Loon is set to arrive in India, where the initiative will see high-altitude balloons offer fast broadband to remote areas.
India is one of the world’s most thriving internet economies, and where Mark Zuckerberg’s Free Basics plan failed, Google Project Loon is about to step in to offer free broadband to rural areas across the company.
Rajan Anonadan, Google’s managing director for India, has confirmed to the Economic Times that Google is in talks with telecommunication firms to collaborate on the launch of Project Loon in the country. Read: Google‘s Project Loon rolls out in Sri Lanka “The actual provisioning of the service is done by a local telco. So, we’re talking to a number of local telcos… We can’t do a Loon pilot without partnering with a local telco.” Anandan said, before stating that “the government has been very supportive.”
Facebook’s Free Basics scheme was previously banned in the country, following allegations that the service had violated the tenants of Net Neutrality, with the citation that Free Basics provided certain companies with an “unfair market advantage”. Free Basics offers free connectivity to enrolled services.
Project Loon, in contrast, is set to offer equal access to all cites on the Internet.
The initiative, which was launched in 2013, has previously launched in Sri-Lanka to success, and has the long-term plan of offering internet access to areas across the world.
Read: Inside Project Loon: Google‘s ambitious internet balloon project (video)
Project Loon is capable to beaming 3G internet speeds to receiver stations on the ground, and is presently enjoying field tests around the world in countries such as Brazil and the United States.
It remains to be seen as to whether Project Loon could see a South African launch, with the view of delivering internet access to rural areas.
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