Google’s Project Loon may soon begin in India, new developments hint. According to the sources, the Government has asked Google to find suitable telecom operator as a partner for the project.
Google’s Project Loon is a prestigious internet technology project, where the high-altitude balloons are dispersed in the stratosphere (at an altitude of 20km above the Earth’s surface) to create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-LTE speeds.
Each balloon can provide connectivity to the ground area about 80km in diameter using LTE. However, to use LTE network Project Loon would require partnering with a telecommunications provider to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.
These balloons have the potential to replace the mobile towers in the country. Google uses solar and the wind as energy sources for the balloons to stay aloft. Google Project Loon was recently launched in Sri Lanka.
The Government had held a meeting regarding accepting the project in November 2015 and directed BSNL, the government-run service provider to partner the project. However, Google sought to conduct the test in 700MHz or 800Mhz band instead of the 2500Mhz band that BSNL holds.
At present, the 700Mhz spectrum is not allocated to any service provider. Telecom regulator TRAI suggested including the spectrum in the upcoming auction for a price of $1681 Mn per Mhz. The service provider would require buying a minimum of 5Mhz to acquire the spectrum.
Google hasn’t confirmed the news on Project Loon launch in India.