🎈 Google's giant hot air balloons are creating internet connections in Kenya

🎈 Google's giant hot air balloons are creating internet connections in Kenya

Via 35 solar-powered hot air balloons, the Google company Loon now offers 4G internet connection to millions of Kenyans.

Mathias Sundin
Mathias Sundin

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Together with Telecom Kenya, Loons balloons cover an area of ​​almost 50,000 square kilometers and reach millions of people.

According to Loon's tests in June, the speeds look to be quite good. Up 4.74 megabits per second and down 18.9 mbps.

It all started in 2013 as a semi-wild project in Google's Moonshot Factory X. It was so successful that a few years later a company was formed.

Previously, Loon's balloons were only used in disaster situations such as earthquakes, but now they are being offered commercially for the first time.

Source: Loon

The balloons are about 30 meters high and can fly as high as 20,000 meters. Each balloon provides internet connection to an area of ​​11,000 square kilometers, about 200 times larger than an average mast.

Previously, each balloon was released by hand, but now it is made automatically from two places in the world, Nevada and Puerto Rico, so they have to fly a good distance before they reach Kenya.

Source: Loon. It's not a child who drew this, it's the balloon's journey from Puerto Rico to Kenya.

Google sometimes gets criticism from Wall Street for wasting money on the crazy projects in X. But they should pay tribute to them. From a premium article I wrote earlier this year:

Google was beaten on the stock market when they presented their latest quarterly report. They still make a lot of money on the search, but almost a billion dollars in losses in the "other bets" category made the stock market sour.
Other bets are Alphabet's bets on things that do not relate to search, or necessarily to organizing the world's information. There are, for example, self-driving vehicles in the form of Waymo. Loon, which are balloons that will provide internet connection in poor parts of the world. Drones in the Wing, and much more.
In my opinion, companies do not exist just to make maximum money. They must benefit society and humanity. (How to define it is a longer discussion.) To do that, of course, they need to make a profit and have a working business model. But the fact that Alphabeth is spending some of her billions ($ 15 billion so far) on important developments is excellent.

Here is a short video explaining how Loon's balloons work.

News tips from Magnus Aschan.