Google's Project Loon Aims To Bring Balloon-Powered Internet To Over 100 MIllion Indonesians


The power of the Internet should be something that everyone around the world has at their fingertips.

That's why Google is working to test its Project Loon balloon-powered Internet with the goal of delivering high-speed LTE world-wide-web connections to upwards of 100 million Indonesians over the next few years.

The way Google's project works is its Loon balloons simulate floating cell-phone towers, being carried by winds at altitudes higher than commercial planes. As Loon balloons are floating across the sky, they're beaming wireless signals down to the ground to make the Internet accessible.

When one balloon floats out of range, another moves in, effectively creating a wireless network that extends Internet coverage over a generous space, bringing the web to remote and rural places that wouldn't otherwise have the infrastructure to have the Internet.

Project Loon will be welcomed in Indonesia, where Google reports only about one out of every three people have access to the web and even those who have it must endure painfully slow connections, stifling their overall Internet experience.

Geographically, Indonesia is also an excellent place to test Project Loon because of its 17,000-plus islands, which include rough terrain such as mountains and jungles, where it's arduous to erect cell-phone towers or run wiring to bring the web to the masses.

Google is working with Indonesia's top three mobile carriers — Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata — to test Project Loon in hopes of getting millions online as soon as next year.

Ambitious goal ... but it sounds like Google is up to the task.

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