Google's Project Loon is expected to deliver around 22MB/s of Internet connection to large remote parts of New Zealand and Brazil, which are deprived of proper Internet connection.
Google announced Project Loon in June 2013, which will focus to provide fast and durable Internet connection to the currently unconnected regions of the world. The project is said to develop high-altitude balloons that will be positioned in the stratosphere to create a wireless network that can give 3G-like Internet speeds to the ground below. Users of the Internet service will have to connect to the aerial balloon via an Internet antenna placed on their buildings.
Google X, which is Google's research lab, claims that Project Loon may be able to provide Internet connection to some areas by 2015. Speaking to Wired, Astro Teller, Google X chief says that Project Loon faced many challenges but the project has now made significant improvements. Project Loon balloons are hoping to provide fast Internet connection soon to some regions by 2015.
"This is the poster child for Google X," said Teller. "The balloons are delivering 10x more bandwidth, 10x steer-ability, and are staying up 10x as long. That's the kind of progress that can only happen a few more times until we're in a problematically good place."
Teller says that previously the balloons remained in the air just for a few days and offered low average download speeds of just around 1 or 2 MB/s. Google says that the balloons can now remain aloft even for over 100 days.
Teller points out that interrupted Internet connections is a normal occurrence in developed countries as well. Signals are sometimes weak when people are driving, near a big building or a hill. Even though Project Loon is focused to bring fast and durable Internet connection to rural and remote areas, the balloons can also fill in gaps in certain "dead spots" of a city.
The Project Loon is still in its testing phase and Google executives are hoping that Project Loon balloons may be able to provide 22 MB/s of download speed to a ground antenna and 5 MB/s to a mobile device directly. Google is hoping that by 2015 there are around 300 to 400 balloons in the air at any given point of time.